Termites can cause you a lot of headaches if you’re a homeowner. After all, they can cause much destruction in your house. There are numerous species of them. With their ability to chew through wood and other types of household surfaces, termites can cause significant damage to your house, requiring you to carry out significant renovations to parts of the house that are affected.
Some termite species, like the subterranean species, are soft-bodied and small. They infiltrate homes by burrowing through the underground part of the house to gain access to it.
Knowing the telltale signs of termite infestation will go a long way toward helping you avoid costly home repairs and renovations. While preventive measures can help control their multiplication, termite infestation requires constant vigilance.
The following are the signs of termite infestation in your home:
These are also known as ‘swarmers.’ Their presence could mean trouble for you and your house. These white, winged pests tend to move in large swarms. They are the termites that leave their original colonies in search of mates. If you see such swarms, it could mean that there are other termite colonies in and around your property. These colonies could be attracting flying termites. The ideal places where flying termites like to reproduce are tree stumps and woodpiles, like those stored at a warehouse. Ensure to check all the wooded areas in and around your house when doing a termite inspection.
2) Hollow or Blistering Wood
If you tap a section of wooden wall or furniture and it makes a hollow sound, it’s usually a good indicator of the presence of termites. Of course, you need to ensure that such a wooden surface was not originally hollow. Consuming wood starting from the inside is a characteristic of termites. They reduce the wood’s structural integrity to the point where only a thin piece of the wood is left. Sometimes, the termites consume all the wood, leaving only paint or veneer, similar to wood blistering. Check carefully for termite presence when wooden surfaces and furniture begin to splinter and blister.
3) Discarded Wings
When large swarms of termites are in any part of the house, their discarded wings are usually a clear indication of their presence. If you see such discarded wings in or around your property, it most likely means that there are termite colonies nearby. However, it would help differentiate between termite wings and those of other insects.
4) Presence of Frass
Sometimes you may see brown flakes of what appears to be sawdust. However, this could be frass- termite droppings. Frass has a very similar color to sawdust; This makes it very easy to be mistaken for sawdust, especially for someone without much experience with wood. Unlike their subterranean cousins, dry wood termites do not build tunnels out of their droppings. Instead, such fecal matter gets pushed out through tiny holes near the entrance of their nests. The presence of black marks and dark, powdery residue around wood should alert you to the presence of frass, meaning termites are nearby.
5) Mud Tubes
Mud tubes are a surefire way to indicate the presence of termites, especially the underground ones. Sometimes they can resemble a cluster of continuous, miniature molehills. These mud tubes are usually made of termite feces or dirt. The termites rely on them to travel between their feeding and habitation areas. Check the area around the house’s foundation or any structure like a barn; This is where mud tubes are most likely to be found. They are easy to identify using the naked eye. Moist soil is ideal for building these mud tubes.
6) Floor or Ceiling Damage
Termites are voracious feeders. They can use their mandibles to burrow through wood or laminated floors and ceilings; This will compromise the structural integrity of any such surfaces. Look for wood damage on the floor or the ceilings. Termites are most likely nearby when you notice wood splinters falling out of the ceiling or the floorboards.
Termites cause damage to paint and plasters in the same way. They use their mandible to gnaw at the timber within the internal walls, thereby compromising their tensile strength.
All in all, you want to be on the lookout for things that may indicate termite infestation even when it may not seem obvious. A window that refuses to open, for example, could mean termites have chewed part of the window frame. The resulting incoming moisture can cause the window to warp, making it hard to open.