AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - People refer to them as the "silent destroyers" because they can chomp away undetected at your home.
Termites can be found in all states in the U.S. except Alaska, and experts say nearly 600,000 homes are invaded by them every year.
"They basically like to eat wood and unfortunately our houses are made of wood," said Justin Annis, the Director of Business Development at Advanced Services, a pest control company in Martinez.
"When they're out in the woods, eating wood - fallen trees, stumps, logs - they're doing what they're put on earth to do," Annis continued. "Where we come in is when they start to invade and infest homes that we live in and can literally eat the house from the ground up."
In fact, this is the time of year when termites are most prevalent, and this week is Termite Awareness Week. Experts are trying to educate homeowners about ways to ensure their properties don't fall victim to termites.
"Late February to early May is known as swarm season and that's just because the humidity levels in the air, along with the temperatures being in the 70s, are ideal for termites to reproduce," said Annis.
And they are attracted to a very specific kind of environment.
"They have to have really distinct moisture levels in the ground to maintain life, so they're constantly looking for moisture sources," Annis said. "When a moisture source is found along with a food source, otherwise known as wood, that's a real active habitat for them."
Termites are blind and rely on their other senses to find their next food source, which could be your home, but with a little preparation, you can ward off these tiny invaders.
"Always get your house inspected once or twice a year by a qualified service professional in our industry," Annis recommended. "You can use a number of different companies here who use a number of different treatment methods. Our favorite is the termite baiting system centricon, which is one of the greenest methods."
Annis also suggested investing in a termite bond, or a type of contract, with a pest company that would guarantee regular inspections to prevent a termite invasion.