5 Signs You Might Have Termites
Is there a simple way to tell if you have unwanted visitors in your home? Termites, the ever-present, unwanted house guests, are difficult to detect and could cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage if left untreated. In fact, the National Pest Management Association proves that these critters are responsible for approximately $5 billion worth of damage to US buildings.
And the majority of homeowners in the country are prone to a termite attack. Termites can be found in every state except Alaska, and already the White House has dealt with termite problems in the past.
To stop a termite invasion before it starts, it’s important to keep vigilant and look for signs that your home may be under attack:
1. You see termite wings. If you see wings around the perimeter of your house or indoors, it may be a sign that termites have already invaded the area surrounding your home. As termites swarm, they discarded their wings. If you find clusters of wings over several days, it’s important to contact an exterminator right away.
2. You find sawdust. Noticing small piles of sawdust is another sign of a serious termite problem. This “symptom” indicates that termites have been chewing on the wood in your home and have produced piles of sawdust as they wreak havoc on your housing structure.
3. You see shelter tubes. Termites are subterranean insects that require moisture to live; they seek protection by dwelling in tiny spaces. As a consequence, termites will infest and build small tunnels of mud in exposed areas. To determine if a termite tube is active, break one off and check later to see if it has been rebuilt. If so, you have a termite infestation on your hands.
4. You find hollowed wood. As you inspect the woodwork in your home, use a flat blade screwdriver or knife to check if wood has been hollowed out. Wood that has been severely damaged by termites may also sound hollow when tapped.
5. You see visible termites. Once termites are visible on your character, watch out! Termites may look yellow or white. Although there are over 40 termite species in the US, many will proportion the same physical characteristics. Termites can be most often found in damp areas of a home close to supplies of wood. They may easily be confused for small ants. If you have any question about the kind of insects found in your home, use the criteria above to determine if they are termites and call a specialized exterminator right away for help.
Treating a termite infestation is a serious matter. If an infestation is caught early on and remains small, a pest control company may be able to fumigate a home to kill the termites. You can then replace any wood that has been damaged by the invasion.
In more harsh situations, the complete reconstruction of the damaged areas of a home may be necessary. This is why it’s more important than ever to stay on the lookout for termites to protect the value of your character and stop an infestation before it starts.