How to Spot a Termite Infestation
Termites can make your skin crawl and itch but what are the signs that you have a termite infestation? Find out more here.
What if your home was being destroyed and you didn’t even know it?
For a homeowner, nothing is quite as scary as a termite infestation. And the worst thing about termites is that you might not notice their presence until it is too late.
That’s why we put together this definitive guide for how to spot a termite infestation. After reading it, you’ll know all the signs and be able to call a good exterminator before it’s too late.
There are many different signs of termite infestation. One of the biggest signs, though, is that your wood has been damaged in some way.
Sometimes, this takes the form of annoying “blisters” in the wood. That is a sign that termites are damaging the subfloor, and subterranean termites may be the culprit.
Another major sign is if your wood looks “hollowed” or otherwise damaged. Termites eat the wood from the inside first, and you might not notice something is hollow until a foot, finger, or hang goes right through the weakened material.
Most of the tell-tale termite signs are visual. However, there is actually a specific noise that may indicate an infestation. And that noise is a quiet “clicking” sound.
Believe it or not, that noise comes from termites banging their heads against the wood. And they are making this noise in response to perceived danger.
A termite colony has several different kinds of termites. The “head-bangers” are soldier termites, and they are making that noise as a warning to the rest of the colony.
On top of the clicking noise, you may be able to hear the soft noise of worker termites chewing away at your wood. But to do so, you might have to put your ear next to the material in question.
One of the first signs many people notice about a termite infestation is flying termites. When males or females are flying, that means they are seeking a new home for their colony. And if you’re seeing them around your house, then your home may be their next target.
Now, you may not be able to actually see termites flying around because some of them only swarm at night or at other times where you are unlikely to witness it. But you may see discarded wings around or outside your home. While these could show up anywhere, they are likeliest to appear in areas like windowsills and spider webs.
Another unexpected sign of termite infestation is little mud “tubes” that you may find near areas where the ground and your home meet. Alternatively, they might pop up on nearby trees or even sheds you have outside.
These tubes are used by subterranean termites as a way to protect themselves. That’s because the tubes help them stay underground and control factors like temperature and humidity while they forage for food.
Once the tubes are inside your home, they provide the same kind of protection by transforming your home into a more termite-friendly area.
The problem with noticing termites is that some of the signs may be mistaken for something else. For example, many people overlook termites because they think they are seeing white ants.
Ants and termites can be very similar in size and shape, and sometimes they even act very similarly. To be safe, you need to know the primary differences between termites and ants.
Termites are usually lighter and even translucent in color. Therefore, those really pale critters you see are likely to be termites. Remember, white ants don’t actually exist, so any pale “ants” you see are actually termites!
Termites antennae are also straight instead of bent like ant antennae. And termite waists are thicker than ant waists.
It’s also easy to confuse flying ants and flying termites. Keep in mind that termite wings will be the same size. By comparison, flying ants usually have a larger set and smaller set of wings.
As we have noted, there are different kinds of termites that leave different kinds of signs. When it comes to drywood termites, one of the major signs is (grossly enough) their droppings.
You may not immediately recognize them as droppings. That is because these droppings are wooden, and they will look a bit like mounds of wooden pellets. Depending on the wood in question, it may also look a bit more like sawdust or small coffee beans.
Needless to say, if you find these droppings, you need to call a good exterminator right away. At this point, they are already inside your home and eating away!
Earlier, we discussed how a faint clicking noise might be the sound of termites banging their heads. But here is another noise to be mindful of: hollow noises when you make contact with wood.
Because termites eat wood from the inside out, you may not be able to visually tell that a bit of wood is damaged. But if it makes a really hollow noise (or a noise like paper) when you walk on it or tap it, that means the wood has most likely been damaged.
For what it’s worth, it’s better to find out by noticing hollow sounds. Otherwise, you might not notice hollow wood until you accidentally break it!
Windows and Doors Are Tough to Open
Occasionally, there are signs that may or may not be signs of termite infestation. And one of those signs is if windows and doors are tough to open.
If you live in a hot, damp area, windows and doors may be difficult to open due to the weather. Otherwise, though, these structures may be warped by the moisture created by termites who are chowing down.
Termite Infestation Signs: What’s Next?
Now you know about the major signs of termite infestation. But do you know who to call to deal with these pests?
Here at Pegasus Pest Control, we specialize in dealing with termites. To see how we can protect your home, contact us today!