Think You Have Termites? Three Tell-Tale Signs
Termites: It’s no doubt that you have heard of them before, especially if you live in a warm, moist climate. These pests are notorious for their destruction and thrive in environments that are warm, moist and where there is easy access to dead or decaying wood. Though they may be small in size, they have the ability to cause an extensive amount of damage. In fact, it’s estimated that termites destroy 600,000 homes in the United States, and it costs Americans approximately $5 billion to repair the damage caused by these pests each year. The best defense is a good offense. Knowing the signs of termite infestation can allow you to identify the problem and have it treated before extensive damage is done.
Spring season is swarming season. If you see a large swarm of winged insects on your property or in your home, there’s a good chance that you have termites.
These pests swarm as a way to reproduce their colonies. They emerge from their subterranean homes in order to do so, which results in a large swarm. If you do see a swarm, take a closer look to make sure that they are, in fact, termites. Flying ants and termites are often confused. Each have different characteristics:
- A straight waist
- Straight antenna
- Two wings on either side of their bodies which are equal in size
- A smaller waist and larger bottom
- Antenna that is bent
- Two wings on either side of the body that are unequal in size
Take a look at the exterior of your foundation, your crawlspace and around pipes. Do you see the presence of mud tubes? If so, it’s likely you have a termite infestation. These insects build mud tubes in order to pass from their underground homes to their source of food. Made of soil and wood, these tubes are about the thickness of a pencil or a straw, and are a sure sign that termites have taken up residence in your home.
An obvious sign of a termite infestation is damaged wood. Since their main food source is wood, it makes sense that they will damage the wood in your home, and that damage can be visible.
Common places to look include your floors, walls, windowsills and floor joists. Signs of damage include:
- Pitting: As termites eat wood, they leave behind small holes, or pits. These holes are usually found in clusters, and they are sure sign of a termite problem.
- Sagging: Wood is weakened as termites eat through it. As a result, the wood starts to sag. Take a step back and look at your floors and windowsills. If they are sagging in the middle: there’s a good chance you have a termite infestation.
- A hollow sound: To detect a hollow sound, tap on the wood. A dull thud is an indicator that you have termites.
If you notice any of these signs in your home, call a pest control company such as State Pest Control Inc as soon as possible. A professional will be able to positively identify if a problem does exist, treat the problem, and prevent it from returning.