Termite colonies can stretch as long as an entire city block and they usually consist of millions of the little bugs. These cause extensive structural damage to homes that costs thousands of dollars to repair so it is important to take control of the situation as quickly as possible. Contact Us Today if you are concerned about a termite problem!
5 Signs of a Termite Infestation
Termites represent one of the biggest and most expensive potential headaches facing any homeowner, and many times the damage they cause goes unnoticed until it’s too late. However, with the right information, it is entirely possible to catch an infestation before it has a chance to take hold. Below are some of the common warning signs that professionals use to determine whether or not a home is facing a termite problem:
While it may seem obvious to look for live termites, many people don’t know what to look for. The easiest way to look for termites is to probe suspicious wood and pull back mulch that is in contact with the exterior of the home. Worker termites are about a fourth of an inch long, wingless, and pale white. Swarmers are slightly larger, winged, and often appear to be dark brown or even black in color. Swarmers often emerge on warm, humid days, often during hours when homeowners may be at work, making them difficult to spot.
One of the surest signs of a termite infestation is the boreholes they leave behind. Often these tunnels are clearly visible, but another way to determine whether or not a piece of wood has been infested is to tap it with a mallet or hammer. If the wood makes a hollow sound, it is possible that termites have tunneled into it. Bubbling paint may be a sign that termites are eating away at the wood underneath.
Mature termites, also known as swarmers, shed their wings before entering the next stage of development. Very often homes that have been targeted by termites will have discarded swarmer wings left behind on windowsills or around the home’s foundation. Wing piles are a sign that termites are preparing to start new colonies, and as such it is vitally important to call an exterminator if they are found around the home in order to prevent widespread damage.
Drywood termites, which live primarily in warm climates that do not reach freezing temperatures, often leave behind piles of droppings near areas that they are infesting. These termites generally target structural wood, furniture, and hardwood flooring, so it is especially important to watch for droppings nearby. Also keep an eye out for piles of wood grain particles, which may indicate the presence of subterranean termites.
One of the most obvious signs of a subterranean termite infestation is the shelter tubes that they build between their colonies and the wood they are feeding on. These tubes are made of mud and fine bits of wood, and are generally no thicker than a pencil. To check if the shelter tubes are still being actively used by termites, break sections of the tubes and wait to see if they are repaired. If they are, it’s time to call an exterminator.
Termites cause an estimated $5 billion in damages each year to homes in the United States alone, but by keeping an eye out for these tell-tale signs of an infestation, it is possible to catch the pests early, possibly before they even have a chance to settle. It is important to contact an exterminator for professional assistance when these signs are spotted, since improper treatment procedures can allow termites to run rampant and cause expensive long-term damage.
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