The Telltale Signs of a Termite Infestation
April 25, 2016
Termites are a house’s worst enemy. They come in through cracks in your home’s foundation and eat away at the wood. Although they’re small, they can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home. It is important to keep your eye out for termite evidence or activity in your home so that you can get it taken care of right away, minimizing the damage. When homeowners do regular checks and inspections for termite activity, they protect their home and invest in the future of their house. Here are some signs of termite activity, which if spotted, should motivate homeowners to seek out professional aid.
If you begin to find dead insect wings in your basement or your foundation, there is a chance that termites are attempting to swarm, reproduce, and invade your house. Winged termites are perfect mating partners for ground termites, and the termites will use them to start a colony. When mated with, winged termites shed their wings, leaving them all over your home. This activity usually happens in the spring or summer time, when the weather becomes warmer and outdoor bugs attempt to come inside. Check windows, screens, and lights as well, as winged termites find themselves attracted to light. When seeking a professional opinion of these findings, try to save some of the dead insect wings that you encounter as proof of bug activity.
When renovating or even just inspecting your home, look for any wood that has been hollowed out. Termites eat wood and they work their way from the inside to the outside of the wood. If you check the beams in your house by knocking on them and they sound hollow, there is pretty good evidence there has been some termite activity. You can also check to see if wood has become discolored, sunken in, or breaks away easily. In this case, you can hire a termite inspector to come and see what the damage is. You can also invest in termite monitors which can trigger you to activity before it becomes damaging.
Check around your home, especially in crawl spaces, for mud tunnels. Termites make tunnels in the mud about the size of a pen in diameter. Mud tunnels can be found in almost any area of your home, including the ceiling, concrete crevices, support structures, and more. These tunnels can give way for the termites to come out of the ground, and into your home. If you discover mud tunnels around your home, it is wise to immediately do a complete termite inspection with a professional to check for these signs and others. These tunnels are a direct line for the termites to live and feed in a protected area.
Cracks in the foundation or wood are a tell-tale sign of termite activity. Termites’ feeding habits create damaging cracks in your wood and home foundation. If cracks are found, call a specialist right away as there is a lot of evidence that termites have invaded. A professional can help you to discover the degree to which the damage has happened and what course of action to take next. Getting rid of termites at this stage of activity is not a one-person process. The best way to protect your home and your assets is to get a professional in to do an assessment right away.
If you see sawdust in your home, that is another sign of termite activity. When termites eat wood, they often leave little crumbs of sawdust in piles. If you see sawdust in an area that you are not remodeling or cutting away from, it is a sign of termite feeding on your wood. It is best to bring in a professional to do an inspection.
Check your wall coverings to see if you can identify any depressions or places sunken in. Just like the hollowed out wood, termites eat from the inside out. You can see evidence of this in your wall coverings as well. If you notice this, check your walls to see if the termites have made mud tunnels. There is a good chance that behind any sunken wall covering, there are termite-made mud tunnels. If you can identify any holes in the plaster or drywall of your walls, that is also a sign of termite activity.
If there are any areas of your house that appear to have water damage, it is possible that it is termite damage instead. Often termite damage can be disguised as water damage – even giving off a scent of mildew or mold. If you think that you’ve spotted some water damage, be sure to do a thorough check to make sure it is not really termite damage. This includes the swelling of ceilings or floors. If you’re not sure if it’s water or termites, call in a professional to do an inspection.
Lastly, one of the surest signs of termite damage is termite fecal matter. If you can find small holes in wood or furniture or even the walls, knock or tap on them to see if any fecal pellets fall out. Termite pellets can come in many colors, have a powdery consistency, and are dry. Check your foundation and basement as well for any fecal matter. If you find pellets in one area, dispose of them and check the area again the next few days. If you can see that new pellets are appearing, there has likely been an infestation.
Call Alliance Pest Services today for all your termite and wood pest problems.