A termite infestation is a nightmare for homeowners and rental property owners. The termites’ insatiable appetite for wood is destroying the home’s foundation and structure, causing nearly irreversible damage. If you discover these warning signs, the termites didn’t arrive yesterday. They settled in and stayed for weeks for months.
It’s rare for termite swarmers to appear in front of you, so search for clues. Swarmers leave wings behind because the termite twists it off upon finding a perfect mate. This is mostly a female trait. Broken swarm wings exist on spider webs, near the foundation, and near home-access points like doors and windows. The wings resemble scaly fish, and the swarmers resemble flying ants.
If you see pencil-sized mud-made tunnels on trees, sheds, on the home, or on the ground, it is a mud tube. Termites eat wood underneath the grass and soil and trail upwards eating wood through the tunnels. The mud tubes are their home, keeping moisture in and predators out. The temperature and humidity levels around the house are a perfect environment for them. Find mud tubes on foundation walls, basements, and crawlspaces.
Termites eat wood to survive and live in it through mud tubes. To move around in the mud tube, termites keep the area clean. Waste in the mud tube is unacceptable, so they create holes to push out frass. Frass is a friendly word for poop or droppings, and it is wood pellet mounds resembling grounded coffee, powdered shavings, or sawdust. Expect to see frass near a mud tube.
Termites eat wood from the inside out, so the damages vary. Hollowed wood sounds empty upon tapping it with a honeycomb shape on the exterior wood piece. Grooves in the wood originate when termites seek cellulose in wood floors, walls, and ceilings. The consequence is a weaker structure, eventually crumbling if untreated. Rotting wood and soft-feeling wood are red flags for termite infestation. Maze-like patterns and small holes in walls and furniture are signs as well.
This warning sign caters more to flooding or leaky water pipes. However, termites can cause water damage related symptoms too. Examples are peeling paint and blisters. If it appears like water damage but there’s no water, it’s a termite infestation.
If termites are present, be proactive by contacting a termite professional. Termites are persistent, and they require an equally persistent method to keep them at bay. Routine checkups along with a professional are vital toward defeating termites. DIY methods are not effective in termite control.