How Much Damage Did Termites Cause in 2014 in the US?

If we base the likelihood of your home getting damaged by a fire or from a termite infestation, the latter has a higher chance. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites incur more than $5 billion in damage annually. Almost all property in the United States are at risk of termite infestation and a typical homeowner will spend an average of $3000 to repair the damage caused.

Termites are among the most destructive and most common pest all over the world, and the USA is no exception. No matter what kind of structure your home is built upon, be it stucco, brick, block or even concrete slabs, none of them are immune to termite infestation along with the damage that they can cause, which leaves termite control very important.

The worst part about it are that termite infestation can remain dormant until they’ve caused a massive damage, requiring you to dish out thousands of dollars for repairs and extermination. Added to it the fact that most home insurance policies don’t cover termite damage, leaving the homeowner to shoulder the entire repair bill.

“Termite swarms are common in many places around the country. In areas such as Texas, the South, Florida, and even California, operators can point their customers to look for termite wings around their homes, particularly in basements and on window sills”, according to Rick Rupkey, Sr., owner of University Termite & Pest Control.

Termite Damage Statistics

  • Each year, termites damage approximately 600,000 homes in the USA alone annually
  • S. residents spend $5 billion each year for termite damage repairs
  • S. residents spend about $1 billion on Formosan termite control every year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some experts even estimate the number to be closer to $2 billion
  • Every year, termites and other similar pests caused an estimated $30 billion damage to crops and man-made structures in the US
  • A typical homeowner who discovered a termite infestation will spend an average of $3,000 to repair the damage done

Termite Signs

In order to prevent massive damage to your property, be sure to keep an eye to for the following signs:

  • Mud tubes – these are used by subterranean termites to reach food sources above ground
  • Damaged wood – hollow damaged wood is another surefire sign of termites
  • Ripples and/or small holes in drywall – termites create tiny holes on woods when they damage it, extensive damage will make the wood look rippled
  • Pellets – drywood termites excretes pellets that often accumulate on window sills, baseboards, etc.

Once you see some of these signs, there is a huge possibility that your home is already infested by termites. If that happens, immediately seek for a professional’s help to minimize and eliminate the damage before it grows further.

Closure of Guantanamo Bay – Obama new directive as he prepares to exit office

guantanamo bay

Guantanamo Bay is infamous as a detainee prison that holds terror suspects without trial for indefinite periods of time. This U.S naval base located in South East Cuba has had over 700 inmates since its inception by former U.S president George Bush.

Human rights activists have been at the forefront demanding its closure and subsequent release of peoples of various nationalities. The most recent commitment to this cause has received a major boost from president Obama as he assured his commitment to shutting down the facility.

The process is not as straightforward as many would like to view it. The rule of law needs to be upheld at all times. Detainees potentially deemed to be a threat to national security and have to be kept under vigilant watch. Keeping them behind bars without trial however undermines their liberty and ultimately violates their basic rights.

Population at the facility reached an important milestone- under 100 as prisoners have been released over time and sent to different countries and other military bases. If the policy continues under President Obama’s watch, the problem is certain to take a quick demise. The worst that can happen is for the costly menace to be transferred to another president- Obama’s term is near its end.

Legal avenues to deal with this complex issue have long advocated for by those that recommend its closure. A country like the US needs to instill a sense of moral obligation to the world as a benchmark that will be followed by others seeking peace and security.

Action meant to stem violation of human rights needs to go beyond the signing of an executive order. To affirm the president’s commitment to timely action, a well laid out plan needs to be clearly set and its recommendations followed without fail. There are those that oppose its closure and have valid reasons for their stand but greater global interests prevail.

It costs hundred of millions of dollars each year to maintain the facility so the financial implication is a real thorny issue.

Repatriation to one’s home country is indeed a dream come true especially for inmates held over a decade without charge or trial. Other countries can receive their nationals as was the case with the recent release of 10 Yemenis to Oman in January 2016. Such gestures if upheld now and in the future could end up solving the Guantanamo Bay crisis as we know it.