According to the National Pest Management Foundation, termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage a year in the U.S.  Many home owners are not aware of the danger that termites pose to their property. Termites, known as "silent destroyers"  may take up residence in a home for years or decades - eating away at the structure from the inside out until the damage finally shows itself. Termites enter homes by slipping through very thin cracks in the foundation.  Window vents and roof joints are also popular entry points.  Older homes are more inclined to be at risk but new homes can be effected if termite pretreatments during construction aren't done correctly by the builder. Here are some preventive measures to take: Keep moisture out.  Use downspouts and gutters to divert water away from the home's foundation. Store mulch, firewood and wood chips away from the home. ensure shrubs, vines and other plants aren't planted too close to the home and aren't covering vents. Ventilate crawl space to reduce humidity. Eliminate gaps and cracks in areas such as attic vents, windows joints and roof eaves. Remove old tree stumps and roots near the home. Schedule regular inspections with a termite specialist.  By using special wood treatments and repellants, specialists can prevent termites.  Buyers would be smart to investigate whether the sellers already have a termite protection program in place.  Even if it's not required by the state or lender, you might recommend a separate termite inspection.  These inspections are included in most standard home inspections.