News reports say more termite infestations are being found

Kristi Bailey 2020 NETAR President

According to news reports, 2021 is a year for discovering termite infestations. Inspections related to increased home sales could be a factor. Another is people have been spending more time at home, giving them time to become more aware of subtle signals of termite problems. Regardless of what’s driving the increase, it illustrates the importance of being aware of termites’ huge property damage threat.

New reports of natural disasters are what most people associate with property damage. But neither fire, storms, tornadoes, nor earthquakes are the most significant property damage threat. That distinction goes to the common termite. The National Pest Management Foundation says they cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage a year in the United States.

Termites are sometimes called silent destroyers and 24/7 pests. They earned the silent destroyer moniker because when you see the infestation signs, they have already done their damage silently eating on your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is why preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure they do not eat a chunk out of your investment. 

 When termites devour dead trees in forests, they help recycle nutrients and make new plant life space. But once they start to eat the wood in your home, it is a whole new story.  

Termites may take up residence in a home for years – even decades – before they are noticed. All the time, they’re chewing away at the structure from the inside out.

Older homes – like many of those in the Tri-Cities – where it is more likely that foundation may have cracked, are especially prone to risk. But new homes are not immune if pretreatments during construction are not done correctly. When that happens termite, swarms can take hold as quickly as five years.

For a buyer, a termite inspection is an insurance against the unexpected. Buyers should also check to see if the sellers already have a termite protection program in place – many do.

For homeowners, inspections and preventative maintenance are essential steps to ensure the home’s safety, value and resale value. Many choose the annual pest control protection against uninvited guests as a good time the check for signs of termites.

  Here’s a checklist that many homeowners use to keep critters at bay:

   – Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes, and termites, are attracted to moisture.

   – Keep tree branches cut back. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home.

   – Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home.

   – Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

   You can find more information about termites, pest control, and various other items and issues of interest to homeowners at  It’s a consumer service of local and national REALTORS® intended to demonstrate that the homeowner-REALTOR® relationship extends beyond the core areas of buying and selling real estate.    

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee – Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,400 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Pending sales, Trends Reports, and the regional market analytics can be found on the NETAR websites at

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at