Large Termite Swarm Expected Soon

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(Memphis ) It could be a bad year for termites.

They're expected to swarm any day now.

The pests can eat away your home.

It's estimated across the nation that they cause more than $5 billion a year in damage.

Experts say there as many 20 termite colonies per acre in Tennessee.

They're not noticed because they live underground, but when they come out they can eat the wood floor out from under you.

Preston Warford with Terminix says one in every thirty homes in the Mid-south will get a termite infestation, but it could be even more this year as a longer winter gave the pests more time to breed.

"You know the weather has kind of held the termites down throughout the entire month of March," said Warford. "So they're sitting there and they're waiting. They're just waiting for that weather to warm up and I've got a feeling its about to hit pretty strong."

Warford expects termites to begin swarming any day now and the Mid-South is perfect place for them to feed.

"I think a lot of it has to do with moisture. We've got the Mississippi River here and Memphis is also a very humid area," said Warford. So whenever you have that moisture in the air and any kind of moisture problems at your house, you're going to have a lot more termite problems."

There are ways to protect your home, Warford says, by keeping mulch out of contact with your house, cleaning out gutters, and fixing any plumbing or roof leaks. Warford says termites feast on wet wood.

"Stay on top of any moisture issues at your house," said Warford. "Also, If you've got any wood debris sitting on the ground. Termites eat wood. That's their food source. They're always looking for wood that's sitting on top of the ground and that's how they find their food."

If you see any white wings or holes in your drywall or wood in your home, you've likely been hit and are going to want to call a professional pest control company.

Terminix says if your home has significant damage from termites, it likely won't be covered in your homeowners insurance.