A termite infestation starts with small warning signs that can be difficult to detect. Here's how to tell if the termites are taking over and stop them fast.
The silent destroyers are out to ruin your home.
Also known as termites, these little nuisances can cause a lot of damage to your floors and walls.
Every year, termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage. Property owners even spend over two billion dollars trying to repair damage from a termite infestation.
Don't underestimate what termites are capable of. It's also important to remain aware that the damage termites cause is often not covered by your homeowner's insurance.
If your home has experienced moisture damage recently (due to rain, snow, and/or ice), you might see new termite colonies start to form, too.
It helps to stay informed. Keep reading to learn the 10 signs of termite damage to your home. With this guide, you can keep a lookout before these silent destroyers start eating their way through everything you own.
Then, you can send those wood-destroying pests packing and take back your home!
1. Rotting Wood
Termites often eat wood from the inside, out. This causes wood to hollow out.
As you first start to look for the signs of a termite infestation, check for wood damage in and outside of your home. You can tap on the wood to see if it sounds hollow to test for a termite infestation.
You should also keep an eye out for rotting wood.
If termites are in your yard, you'll see rotting stumps or other signs wood is decaying. Inspect the wood outside of your home, including any trees they could snack on.
You can break off part of the stump to investigate further.
Check for wings for live termites at work.
Finding termites outside your home first can help you ensure they can't make their way inside.
If termites are already close to your home, they could find their way into your walls or other wooden structures. In fact, termites will travel the length of a football field looking for food. Catching sight of them early on can help you prevent damage in the future.
2. Carved-Appearing Wood
Check for places where wood touches the soil outside of your home, too. If the wood is in a moist, shady spot, it's even more vulnerable.
As you look for evidence of a termite infestation, study the surface of the wood.
Does it look like it's been attacked by a carving knife? You might also notice troughs that feel rough between your fingertips.
Unlike termites, carpenter ants create smoother galleries, so the texture can help you determine the difference.
When we see tiny, translucent insect wings, we often think of flying ants. Shed wings can also indicate termites, though.
As termites mature, they send out termite reproductives called alates. These termite swarmers head out into the world to start new colonies.
After swarmers up and leave, you might notice their wings around.
Check your window sills, deck, patio, or foundation walls. You might even notice a few wings caught in a spider web.
Termite swarmers only appear once or twice a year, for about half an hour. While it's rare you'll see a swarmer yourself, they do indicate a potential termite infestation.
There's probably a mature colony close by. Chances are, it might even be inside your home.
If you see swarmers within your home, contact a professional to check for and clear out the termites as soon as possible.
5. It's Worse During Summertime
More than 600,000 homes in the United States deal with a termite infestation every year.
The most-infested cities in the country include Los Angeles, Mobile, San Antonia, San Diego, Dallas, Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa. Do you know what these cities all have in common?
They're all located in warmer climates.
As you explore this list of termite infestation signs, you should know you'll likely recognize more of these symptoms during summer months. Warmer temperatures create the perfect conditions for termite populations to thrive in.
If you live in California, you're at risk for a potential termite infestation, too. You can find more information about termite and pest control in Chino, Calfornia to prepare yourself.
6. Mud Shelter Tubes
Worker termites create tubes that are built between the soil and wood. This allows them to shelter themselves from the sunlight.
Mud shelter tubes are often found in hidden, shady spots. Check around your foundation or crawl space. You might also notice shelter tubes around cement blocks.
In fact, these mud shelter tubes can also build up through the concrete.
You might have a difficult time spotting these tubes, so it helps to have a professional check the area for you.
You wouldn't think termites are noisy critters.
If there's a spot within your home that is infested with termites, you might be able to hear it. Grab a stethoscope if you suspect there are termites in your walls. You'll hear the soldier termites banging their heads against the walls to signal danger to the others.
The sound will come off as a faint clicking noise.
However, you won't always hear anything if you have a termite infestation. Termites only create this sound when they believe they're in danger.
8. Bubbling Paint
You might also notice other signs of structural damage. For example, termites can cause blisters on your wood floors. They can also cause your painted walls to peel and bubble.
If you notice squeaky floorboards or wall discoloration, check for termites.
9. Holes in the Drywall
Check for holes in the drywall as well.
Remember to knock against the wood and listen for a hollow sound, too.
Drywood termites create wood-colored droppings, also known as frass. They'll create these droppings as they eat through the wood they've infested.
Keep an eye out for a small pile of pellets inside or outside your home.
If these pellets are frass, you probably have a termite infestation on your hands.
Bite Into This: 10 Early Signs of Termite Infestation
Don't let termites destroy your beautiful home. By keeping an eye out for these 10 early signs of termite infestation, you can act fast. The sooner you recognize the signs, the sooner you can clear those pesky termites out!
Check the Home & Design section of the blog for more tips.
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