Dear Crabby, Are Termites a Real Threat?

Dear Crabby,
I’m always hearing that termites are dangerous. In fact,I recently had a guy try to scare me into buying termite insurance. Do you think these things are really that much of a threat? Can they really eat your house?
Sincerely, Doubtful Doug

Dear Doubtful Doug,

While I have no personal experience with termites, I believe I can say with confidence that they do in fact pose a real threat. It’s not like those other things in life that may be a facade of sorts, you know like a man landing on the moon, leprechauns, or Nancy Pelosi scoring above 50 on an IQ exam! Termites can actually be seen and examined and there is real data behind their threats. I read that one colony can have up to half a million members! And that one little bug can eat almost 13 pounds of food a year. The DearCrabbyproblem is that their food is your house! Foundations have crumbled, walls have fallen over, and houses are lost every year. I spoke with one guy who told me that regular homeowners insurance does not even cover termite damage. I guess they claim that the insects cannot do damage immediately like a storm or fire can, so it is your duty to be inspecting and treating regularly for it. So I guess if you are wise you will have someone at least do an annual inspection if not a complete preventative treatment. I don’t doubt that there are some people out to make a buck off this. You will have insurance salespeople, exterminators, and attorneys all out to scare you into paying them money. But as in anything I do, I start by saying no, then I see where that leads me. Like when that door-to-door vacuum salesman asked if I wanted a $3000 vacuum, or when those Girl Scouts asked if I would give them my pop cans, or when the Policeman asked if I was speeding – all were answered “no” initially. Although, after some serious debate and credentials being flashed, I did finally let those Girl Scouts have a few cans! As with anything in life, do your research, ask a pro (like me), and then make your decisions. At least then, whether right or wrong, you can rest assured that you did your best. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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