Are you worried your home may be experiencing an attack from subterranean termites? These little pests run rampant in the United States and can cost you as a homeowner thousands of dollars in damage if left unattended.
Termites love to be in places that are dark and damp which is why it can be hard to tell they are there until its too late. It’s recommended that you have a licensed professional inspect your home every few years to ensure these little bugs are nowhere to be found.
But there are also some key signs of termites that you can look out for on a more frequent basis. Aren’t sure what these signs are?
We are here to help! Keep reading for 9 signs of termites in your home.
1. Finding Swarmers Or Wings
When termites are in search of a new place to set up camp they send out the young reproductive males and females, also called swarmers. This usually happens in the springtime after the cold weather has passed.
You’ll recognize these swarmers by the presence of wings, which will often fall off near your doors and windows. Once the termites have found a suitable place to establish a colony they begin to mate which causes them to lose their wings.
Finding swarmers or their wings is usually one of the first signs of a potential termite problem.
2. Clicking Noises
Can you hear termites? If you are hearing clicking noises that sound like they are coming from your walls you may be wondering what this is caused from. Termite sounds are one of the easiest signs of termites at work.
If the termites feel disrupted, they will often bang their heads on the wood or shake as a sign to the whole colony that a threat may be present. This may be heard as a scratching sound or rustling sound. The worker termites also make noise as they are munching away on the woodwork in your home.
If you place your ear up against the wall and hear these little pests and their noisy eating habit this is a clear sign of termites in your home.
3. Mud Tunnels-Visible Signs
If you are finding dark brown tunnels around the ground or outside walls of your home this is an indication of an established termite colony. These creatures build these clay or mud like tunnels to protect them from predators and to help maintain the humid and dark environment they need to thrive.
Depending on the type of termite infestation you have these tunnels can also be used to transport food. If you are finding these tubes it’s time to act fast to avoid further damage.
4. Hollow Sounding Wood
They way termites eat wood is often from the inside out, leaving a thin top layer intact. If you tap on the wood and hear a distinct hollow sound it means the termites have been hard at work. Hollow sounding wood can be a sure sign of termite damage.
You may even discover that your finger goes right through your trim or door frame if this infestation has gone unnoticed for too long.
5. Paint Damage
If you notice that the paint in areas of your home has visible moisture damage like water spots, peeling, or bubbling this could be an early warning sign of termites.
Once these pests have infested an area they usually won’t come into the sunlight and will trap moisture in the colony to keep their ideal climate. If you see this type of damage to your paint and can’t find a water leak there’s a good chance that it was caused by termites.
6. Piles Of Frass
Piles of termite droppings called frass are commonly found where there is an infestation present. These droppings are wood colored and resemble tiny pellets and are a clear indication of dry wood termites. Piles of frass can normally be spotted around the entrance to the nest.
7. Buckling or Sagging Floors
Wood floors, subfloors, and support beams are another common target of termites. However, these may not show visible damage at first.
If you begin to notice that your floor is sagging or squeaking excessively, this can indicate that termites have been at work weakening your floors. In extreme cases, once the termites have done enough damage to the support beams your floors can buckle under the weight of your appliances or furniture.
8. Seeing ‘White Ants’
A common mistake made when identifying termites is misidentifying them as white ants. This mistake is an easy one to make since both termites and ants are similar in size, shape, and colonized behavior.
Termites are almost translucent in color and are a lot thicker at their midsection than ants. A good thing to remember is there is no such thing as a white ant, so if you think you’ve seen one its most likely a termite.
9. Pin Sized Holes In Drywall
Termites create tiny round holes in the drywall or wood they are living in. These holes are designed as exits for when the swarming termites are ready to leave the colony.
Once the swarmers have left, some of the remaining termites will cover these holes with their feces which will appear to be a brown cement-like material. These holes are usually smaller than 1/8 of an inch and can be hard to notice.
If you find similar looking holes in your home don’t panic because exit holes can also be caused by other wood destroying insects. This is just a good indication that it’s time to call a professional out to see what pests have made a home in yours.
What To Do When You’ve Found Signs Of Termites
Identifying these signs of termites can be stressful. Especially since it often hard to notice the damage until after it’s been done. Conducting routine termite inspections is a great way to avoid this stress altogether.
However, if you get to this point of noticing these pests around your home the next step is having the situation assessed by a professional.
The following sites provide excellent information on subterranean termites, signs of termite damage and identifying termite activity:
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