Termites are one of the most costly pests to homeowners. Termite damage can compromise both the structure and the safety of the buildings they infest. While termites feed primarily on wood, they aren’t limited to wooden structures in their quest for food. Termites can invade plaster, metal siding, brick, etc. No homes are safe from termite damage. Termites feed on wooden beams, cabinets, floors, ceilings, and furniture in these homes.
There are 2 major types of termites: subterranean and drywood. Subterranean termites are found throughout the continental United States. These termites dwell underground in loose, damp soil. They access food sources above the ground through mud tunnels which are created from saliva, feces, and mud. These mud tubes are often found near the foundation of infested homes. Subterranean termites also use cracked or unsealed foundations to access homes in search of food. Drywood termites are usually found in warm, southern climates. These termites build their colonies in the wooden structures they feed on. They are typically found inside walls and furniture of infested homes.
How do homeowners know they have termites destroying their house from the inside out? Here are 5 signs you may have termites in your home.
1. Damage Inside The Home
Termites can cause significant damage to the structure of your home. Some signs of termite damage inside your home include: discolored or drooping drywall; wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it; crumbling, damaged wood; excessively squeaky floorboards; loose tiles; buckling floorboards; peeling paint that resembles water damage; small holes in drywall; windows and doors that stick; maze-like patterns in walls, furniture, and floorboards.
2. Termite Swarms
Termite swarming season is typically in either spring or fall, depending on the species of termite and the weather conditions. Termites swarm when they leave their nest to start new colonies. Termites can swarm indoors or outdoors, again depending on the species of termite and the level of infestation. Outdoor termite swarms are often missed by homeowners because they usually happen in early morning or afternoon when people aren’t usually home. Formosan termites can also swarm at dusk.
3. Discarded Wings
Once termites take flight during swarming season, they will shed their wings as they are no longer necessary. These discarded wings are a sure sign of termites in the area. Piles of discarded wings can be found around foundations, window sills, and even stuck in spider webs.
Drywood termites leave behind droppings, also known as frass, as they eat wood. These droppings form tiny mounds which can be found wherever the termites are feeding. Frass mounds are a good sign of termite activity in your home.
5. Mud Tubes
Subterranean termites build mud tubes from feces, mud, and saliva. These tubes are used as bridges between the underground termite colony and their interior food sources. They also help to conserve moisture in the colony and protect it from outside predators.
Termite damage often goes unnoticed for long periods of time, giving termites plenty of time to cause significant damage to your home. If you notice any of these signs of termite damage, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company to address the problem. Utilizing professional termite control services can not only afford you a thorough evaluation and treatment plan with continuous monitoring, it can also help save you thousands in damage, treatment and repair costs by helping identify termite problems before they get out of hand.