The Termite Trouble: How To Know When Your Home Is Infested
April 3, 2017
It is hard to find someone who would have something negative to say about the amazing springtime. The weather becomes warmer, snows start melting, and flowers start showing their first buds.
Springtime brings with it a relaxed cheer and a long awaited break from the frigid cold of winter. Unfortunately, with the temperatures dropping, spring also heralds the unwanted debut of termite swarms.
Termites have always been a nuisance to most homeowners. A massive swarm of termites can bring all sorts of structural damage to your home. Although the common belief is that termites only come out in spring, the truth is they can be active all year round. The only difference is that termite swarms are mostly visible around springtime.
Most homeowners can live entirely unaware of the fact that their homes are infested with termites until they see a swarm or notice some structural damage while remodeling.
As a homeowner, you should check your home regularly to make sure it is free from an infestation, or to take steps to achieve that.
4 Signs That You Have Termites Sharing your Home
Identifying the less detectable warnings of termites early will save you time, money and effort. Some of the signs that your home is infested include:
1. Hollow-sounding Wood
Most termites enjoy living in humid, dark environments. Because of this, they tend to leave the wooden surfaces which may be subjected to sunlight alone. Although the surface of the wood may appear smooth, if it produces a hollow sound when you tap it then it is most likely infested with termites.
2. Discarded Wings
Termites reproduce by having their reproductive cast - known as swarmers- fly off to form new colonies. Subterranean termites usually swarm around spring time, hence the increased termite activity around most homes. The termites operate on a less predictable timetable. Signs of shed wings or swarms of insects typically announce the presence of termites.
3. Warped Paint on Wooden Surfaces
termite swarms can enter a home through the tiniest of openings. A good way of detecting termite infestation is to monitor any crack in your home. Cracks around the foundation, windows, roof sidings, and vents should be sealed off to prevent termites.
4. Presence of Mud Tubes
A common sign associated with termite infestation is mud tubes. Subterranean termites typically build these mud tubes on home exteriors such as the foundation. The mud tubes provide them with moisture even as they search for sustenance. Wood chips and mulch should be stored away from the household to deprive termites of the moisture rich environment they require for survival.
Damage Caused by Termites
Homes suffering from termite infestation and damage can appear like any other house on the surface. However, even though everything looks fine on the surface, the termites might have nests built into the walls. From there, they slowly cause damage that can remain undetected for years till whenever it becomes apparent.
A house can suffer severe damage if a termite infestation goes unnoticed and untreated for an extended period. Most of the time, damage caused by termites is easily mistaken for water damage. A proper termite inspector is your best bet in differentiating between termite damage and damage caused by water. Some of the damage that termites can cause is highlighted below:
• Structural damage
A common misconception is that termite only target homes made primarily with wood. Termites also attack homes made from non-wooden materials too. They can easily move through metal sliding and plaster. They also consume wooden furniture, ceilings, and floors as food sources.
• Ceiling Damage
The food source of termites includes a diverse range of organic materials and cellulose. They may also eat picture frames, window trims, books, furniture, ceilings, and floors. Ceilings affected by termite attack closely resemble water damage. It causes the ceiling to buckle and sag.
• Foundation Damage
Termites take advantage of any exposed wood or underground space to get access to the foundation of your home. Once they get to the foundation, they almost always cause severe damage.
• Laminate Flooring Damage
Your laminate flooring is also not safe from the threat of termites. The damage infected by termites on laminate flooring looks similar to that caused by water. The infested laminate tends to blister and sag, and on closer inspection, you will notice a hollow series of tunnels underneath the sagging areas. Termites typically eat through laminate creating small holes in the process. The only treatment is to replace the old laminate with a new one entirely.
A lot of these procedures and treatments can be costly. Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed ways of permanently preventing termite infestation. Your best option remains to look out for minor signs of termite infestation and taking checks to avoid further spread. Also, you can also schedule annual termite inspections with your local pest control. They will advise you on the best possible method and solution you can take.
Termite infestation cannot be easily identified until severe damage has occurred. So, it is advisable that you contact a pest control specialist to deal with your termite infestation before you consider trying to handle the problem yourself. The pest control specialist will carry out a thorough inspection to accurately identify the underlying issue. After that, they will discuss a possible solution with you.