Check For These 7 Signs Of Termites
One thing pest homeowners never want to find in their home is termites. Termites can cause insurmountable damage, and usually go unnoticed until damage is severe. They can infiltrate your home’s foundation, eat through your walls and jeopardize the integrity of your house. In short, termites are always bad news. So when you start noticing signs of termites in your home, it’s important to pay close attention. However, if you’ve never experienced termites before, or are unaware of the damage different termite species can cause, then you’re likely unaware of the tell-tale signs of termites. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to discuss the three different types of termites to keep an eye out for, as well as the seven signs of termites in your home. After reading this blog, we suggest taking a walk around your home to look for signs of termites.
3 Types of Termites
1. Subterranean Termite
These termites are by far the most destructive in the U.S. Subterranean termites typically live underground in moisture-soaked areas, but they can live aboveground, too. These termites form “mud tubes” to safely get back and forth between food sources. Once they colonize, upwards of two million termites — yes, you read that right! — may be living within the colony. That many termites can cause insurmountable damage to your home if not found and controlled immediately.
2. Formosan Termite
If you have Formosan termites in your home, you have a big problem on your hands. Formosan termites are extremely aggressive, and will build their muddy colony inside of your home’s structure. Once they have begun to colonize, they are almost impossible to get rid of — so don’t hesitate to call in the professionals!
3. Drywood Termite
You guessed it! Drywood termites don’t need moisture to infest a structure. They can nest in and eat through dry or dead wood, or in roof structures. Unlike Subterranean and Formosan termites, Drywood termites don’t need soil to create their colony. Instead, they will infest by air — yes, they can fly! Now that you know the different types of termites, let’s discuss the signs of termites you should be aware of.
7 Tell-Tale Signs of Termites in Your Home
1. Damaged Wood
The most common indicator of termites is damaged wood. Termites eat wood from the inside out and leave a distinct pattern on the wood upon feeding. The wood becomes hollow and weak and if they’re chomping on your home, they could leave you with costly structural damage. Damaged wood may not appear to be damaged at first. You may notice creaking or swaying wood, or doors and windows that are more difficult to open. Wood may also be crumble or buckle under pressure.
2. Termite Tubes
Subterranean Termites create mud tubes across surfaces to not only protect themselves from predators and the environment, but also to allow them safe passage between the colony and their food source. Once spotted, you’ll know immediately you’ve found termites. These mud tubes are one of the more obvious signs of termites. Termites aren’t only known for building tubes, but mounds as well. Termite mounds can be found in tropical and subtropical environments, so you’re unlikely to find one in your backyard!
Every year, swarmers emerge from termite colonies in search of starting a new colony. Swarmers are winged adult termites, considered to be the future kings and queens of a new colony. Swarmers are commonly mistaken for flying ants, though the main differences are the antennae, body type, and wing length. If you spot a swarm of what looks like termites around your home, contact a pest professional. They will be able to determine if you’re dealing with ants or termites.
4. Discarded Wings
One of the biggest indicators of termites is the shedding of swarmer wings. Once they are one swarming, they will shed their wings just before finding a new nesting site. If you see piles of discarded wings around your home, then there’s a good chance you have active termites.
Termite feces, also known as frass, are left behind after wood consumption. These droppings are typically wood colored and can be found around infested wood. Oftentimes, frass resembles a pile of salt and pepper. Pro Tip: If you locate termite frass, their entry point is close by. Check above the pile of droppings for a tiny hole in the wall. Once you’ve located the hole, you’ll know exactly where termites are hiding.
6. Clicking Noises
When it comes to termites, we’re not sure what grosses us out more. As if discarded wings and droppings aren’t bad enough, you can actually hear termites munching the wood inside of your walls. Termites are noisy eaters, so if you hold your ear up to the wall you will probably hear them chewing away at your home. Soldier termites will also hit their heads against the wood and shake their bodies when they feel danger is eminent. This helps warn the colony against a potential threat. Interestingly enough, termites are very sensitive, and can sense vibrations and noises using the organs at the base of their antennae and in their legs. So if they feel you coming, you may be able to hear soldier termites alerting the rest of the colony.
7. Hollow Sounds
If you sense that your walls or structure is damaged by termites, try tapping on the wood. Wood that sounds hollow may indicate termite damage. If that’s the case, remember to be careful! Damaged floors or structural supports could result in unsafe living conditions if termites aren’t removed and the wood isn’t repaired immediately.
So You Found Termites… Now What?
If you locate termites in your home, don’t wait until it’s too late to call a pest removal expert. At Killingsworth, we specialize in termite control, so we’ll be able to treat and remove termites quickly, while preserving the integrity of your home. While we can’t reverse the damage termites cause, we can help prevent it and protect your home. We know the tell-tale signs of termites like the back of our hand, so we can find them, treat them, and allow you to get one step closer to restoring your home. It’s estimated that termites cause over $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. every year. Don’t let your home fall victim to termite damage! Let us help protect you and your home from termites — schedule an inspection with us today.
Content was originally published on May 2, 2016. Content was refreshed on August 13, 2019.