You’ve noticed several insects buzzing around your property lately, and now you’re concerned that they could be termites. However, how can you be sure that they are termites? And if you do find evidence of a termite infestation, what steps should you take next? Termites are social insects that live in colonies, like ants, and are responsible for the destruction of wood. They can cause harm to anything that contains cellulose, including the wallpaper and the carpeting, and they are not limited to only eating through wood. Although they won’t consume foam or plastic, they have no problem burrowing through either of these substances. If you know how to identify them, you can prevent an infestation and swiftly cure it before you have to spend hundreds of dollars on repairs.
Several tell-tale indicators of termites can help you determine whether or not your property is infested with these pests.
- Wood that is hollow or blistered
Another termite activity is wood that has been damaged. Hollow wood or wood that has tunnels is an indication of termite infestation. You know it has been hollowed out when you tap on the wood. Termites often eat wood from the inside out, leaving behind only a thin veneer of wood or the paint. Knocking or tapping on an area that termites have damaged will result in a hollow or papery sound.
Another indication termites are active in the presence of frass, often known as termite faeces. The presence of frass in your Home indicates termites are tunnelling into and consuming the wood. To clean their nests of droppings, termites dig little tunnels throughout your Home. You might find holes in the vicinity of where you’ve seen frass. This is since either part of, or all of the lumber contained therein has been eaten away. On the interior walls, you might also see cracks without obvious cause.
- Mud tubes
Subterranean termites are the most likely ones behind the creation of mud tubes, which are dark tunnels made of wood and dirt. These termites call the ground their Home. Since these termites have soft bodies, they can use mud tunnels to travel through your Home. This allows them to avoid putting themselves at risk from external factors or animals, such as dry weather or predators.
- Doors and windows that fit together snugly.
Doors that suddenly become difficult to open or close are another possible indicator that termites are present. This symptom is certainly caused by subterranean termites, as opposed to other species of termites, which produce less wetness.
- Discarded flight feathers
Another obvious symptom of a termite infestation is the presence of discarded wings that have been left behind. Swarmers can fly because they shed their wings before taking off. If you have a termite infestation, you can notice piles of wings around the base of your property, either inside or outside the house.
What you should do if you notice any of these warning indicators
This may be done by calling a pest control company. A qualified exterminator will have the expertise to determine the species of termite present and decide the strategy that will be most effective in eliminating them.
- Damage does not occur overnight, and there is no reason to become overly concerned if you see symptoms of termites. It can take anywhere from three to eight years for major damage to develop. Therefore, it is far more important to take your time to select a trained specialist than it is to hire someone on the spot.
- Laminate floors and even baseboards are vulnerable to the harm that termites can cause. In affected locations, the flooring may blister or sag, and inspecting the area underlying the flooring for signs of termite activity may help reveal the infestation. You can also check to see if your floor seems to have more of a springy or spongy sensation than it normally does.
- Attics have wooden floors, beams, arched doorways, and ceilings, and all are just as susceptible to termite damage as other wooden structures located lower to the ground. Examine the ceilings and cornices for any signs of cracks.
As the owner of a home or business, you should be aware of the risk termites pose to your property, particularly given that most home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by termites. There is a much greater chance that termites will harm your property than by fire. The presence of apparent fractures in a wall may indicate the presence of termite activity within the wall itself since termites feed on the cellulose found in lumber. Insects that eat and burrow through the frames of doors and windows can also cause the wood to distort, which makes it difficult to open doors and windows.