Damaged wood is not the only sign of a termite problem. Keep reading for 5 warning signs you have a termite problem and what you can do about it.
Did you know that termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage annually?
The main reason behind this stat is that a termite infestation is hard to identify. Most people don’t realize they have a termite problem until their home’s structure is in danger. At that point, the only thing left is to call the professionals.
That said, termite activity is not undetectable – as long as you know what you’re looking for. Here are 5 signs you have termites in your home.
1. Damaged Wood
As you may know, drywood termites consume wood from the inside out. Most of the time, they’re looking for cellulose. If they focus on a specific area, they tend to leave long grooves behind them.
Over time, these grooves will create a certain amount of structural damage. You can recognize damaged wood by a hollow sound and a honeycomb interior.
2. Termite Swarms
Flying termites (or swarmers) rank among the most common termite infestation signs. These termites leave their nest to establish a new colony, which could be in or near your home. They may swarm at night or in daylight.
If you don’t see the termites themselves, you may still notice their wings. Once swarmers find their mate, they twist their wings off as they won’t need them again. Unlike ant wings, all termite wings are the same size.
3. Mud Tubes
Termites need certain humidity levels to survive, which is why they build mud tubes. These pencil-sized tunnels block out all cool air, allowing the termites to nest in places where your house meets the ground.
If you start noticing broken timber in your house, you likely have a termite issue. Once that happens, you may need to consider termite fumigation.
4. Termite Droppings
To help keep their tunnels clean, drywood termites create small kick-out holes. Termite holes are usually located near the entrance to their nest. They then use them to remove their droppings, also known as frass.
Since drywood termites eat wood, their excrement is also wood. If you’re not sure what these droppings look like, they resemble coffee grounds or sawdust. During a termite inspection, this is one of those things that always gets looked at.
5. Clicking Sounds
Can you hear some quiet clicking sounds coming from your walls? Those might be soldier termites. If their colony is in danger, they’ll bang their heads against the wood to warn the other termites.
There are also the worker termites, which are the ones eating your wood. They’re noisy eaters, so you should hear them by putting your ear close to the wood.
Dealing with a Termite Problem
Think you may have noticed some of these signs? If so, consider hiring professionals to test that theory.
Why is this important? Simple: most insurance policies don’t cover termite damage. The good news: detecting a termite problem early enough can do a lot to reduce the risk of damage to your property.
Want to make sure your home is termite-proof? Interested in knowing more about these unwanted guests? Check out our home & garden section!