There may be even more obvious signs that termites are eating your home…you may see them in swarms! The early spring is the most active time of year for termites, although they are still active EVERY month of the year. Additionally, mature termite colonies may contain over two million insects. For reference, termites are small black or yellowish (non pygmental) insects that live in colonies and feed on wood. However, they may chew through many other substances in their search for food. Because destruction from termites may be hidden behind walls, in crawl spaces or basements, it is important to be aware of the signs of a termite infestation so that termite prevention and treatment can begin at the earliest possible stage. Remember, it is what you don’t see that will hurt you the most!
How to Spot a Termite Infestation & Why Professional Termite Protection Keeps Your Home Safe
Since termites primarily consume wood as their food source, any wooden structure or fixture remains vulnerable during a potential termite infestation. The resulting damage is usually hidden, so a professional termite inspection by Eliminate ‘Em is needed to determine if damage is being done. If there is a basement or crawlspace in your home, termite damage may be found in support posts, joists or wooden windowsills, studs, wooden flooring – almost anywhere!
Additionally, termites need moisture in order to survive, but they will generally not be seen crawling on surfaces in the home. In order to travel from place to place inside the home, they construct mud tubes, which are composed of chewed and regurgitated soil and wood particles. These pencil-sized mud tubes are dark brown to dark orange in color and can be found at the bottom of basement walls and everywhere that termites are present as it is their means of travel.
In order for termites to create new colonies, some of the insects from one colony grow wings and “swarm” to areas close by. If a flying termite is found in the home, a new termite infestation is at the beginning stages. Dead termites often found in windowsills can also be an indicator. Swarming termites lose their wings after finding a new residence, so wings and wing parts may be seen if no live insects are found.
Termites searching for more wood sources may chew into drywall and wallpaper. Pinholes are created when the insect breaks through to the interior and retreats from the light, while the dry air allows the pinhole for the termites to enter their tunnel. The pinhole is usually covered with mud and can be seen as small dark dots on the wall.
A long-term termite infestation can potentially cause structural damage to the home as well. Signs of this may include sagging ceilings, ripples in drywall or paneling and peeling paint. Although these signs may be indicators of other structural problems, termite infestation should be considered.
Play it safe! If you haven’t had your home inspected and utilize the pros for termite protection. If you see signs of a termite infestation, give our termite control professionals a call 1-866-802-7378.