costs Americans about $7 billion each year in damage and treatment costs, making them one of the most expensive insects in the country.
According to a recent piece in EARTH magazine, that could be about to get worse. Termites (Reticulitermes)
primarily inhabit the warmer, more southerly part of the country, devouring dead wood in forests throughout the southeast, and boring into houses whenever they get the chance.
Cooler, northern parts of the country have so far been spared their wood-munching wrath. But according to Christopher J. Peterson of the US Forest Service, climate change could tip the scales in the bugs' favor. He writes:
"With warmer conditions creeping northward as the climate changes, especially in the winter, termites will likely expand their territories to higher latitudes. And because those areas are not equipped to handle termites, this could cause untold billions of dollars in property damages, unless we prepare for the coming changes."
Even the epic snow storms that have battered the eastern part of the country this winter could create a lot of tasty wet wood that would up the price tag for termite damage. Read more of article here