So you think you might be dealing with a termite problem? If you have an inkling that termites have invaded your home or foundation, it is critical to schedule an immediate inspection. Termites are highly invasive, reproduce rapidly and can cause extensive damage to your home’s structure. If you don’t get the issue under control quickly, you could be facing substantial repair costs as well as safety concerns for you and your family. At Bennettts Services, we know pest control, and we also know that the majority of homeowners have difficulty recognizing the signs of a termite infestation. If you suspect your home has been a mealtime target for a colony of irritating pests, check out this list of the most common termite infestation signs.
Clicking Sounds Within Your Walls
Have you heard tiny clicking sounds that appear to be coming from within your walls? If so, you likely have a termite problem. While these tiny termite sounds may not be readily identifiable, you can usually hear them when you place your ear against the walls in your home. Termites are loud chewers, and as they make their way through your home’s wood frame, your likely to hear them munching away. As well, a termite colony is highly sensitive, able to sense vibrations using their antennae and legs. When they detect a threat, these tiny pests shake their bodies or bang their heads against wood surfaces to warn the colony of impending danger.
If your home has a termite infestation, one of the first telltale signs you’ll notice are swarmers, or flying termites. When mating time arrives, both male and female termites leave the principal nest to locate a suitable mate and begin a new colony elsewhere. Almost all termites swarm after a period of heavy precipitation, so keep an eye out for increased pest activity after it rains. Swarms are most common during late summer and fall, so keep an eye out during these seasons as well.
Discarded Termite Wings and Droppings
Along with large swarms of these annoying pests, you may also notice an abundance of discarded wings. Shortly after finding a mate, termites lose their wings before holing themselves away to reproduce and start a new colony. And unfortunately, the location of the new colony may very well be a new site within your home’s walls or foundation. You can usually find discarded wings caught up in spider webs around your home’s foundation or around window sills.
Termite droppings, also known as frass, are typically found within the hollow wood tubes that these tiny pests create as they eat through your home’s wood. You won’t find evidence of subterranean termite droppings, as the underground species only produces liquid waste, but the dry wood termite variety excretes tiny, light-colored pellets as they digest cellulose fiber found in your home’s wood.
Perhaps the most telling sign of a termite infestation is hollow-sounding wood throughout your home. If you knock on wood surfaces around your house and observe a hollow or “papery” sounding echo, there’s a definite chance you’re dealing with a termite infestation. You may also notice small collections of sawdust or soil depending on the species of termite that has overtaken your home. Subterranean termites typically leave behind soil, while dry wood termites leave behind remnants of the wood they devour.
Warping of Doors and Windows
Damp wood termites need moisture to survive, and while many people believe warping doors and hard-to-open windows are simply a result of high humidity, there’s often a more destructive force at hand. As damp wood termites chew through your home’s wood, they release moisture, which accumulates and causes warping of the surrounding wood. You may also notice cracked or bubbling paint, as well as tiny holes where the termites have eaten through your drywall in search of abundant food sources. As well, if your doors or windows are warping due to high humidity, they present a very attractive food source for damp wood termites who prefer wet and decaying wood as their primary food source.
Tunnels in Wood
As termites munch through your home’s wood, they leave visual markers called galleries, or tunnels. While tunneling may be difficult to spot from the outside, if you notice tiny tunnel-like shapes in wood outside of your home, you almost certainly have a termite problem either around your home, beneath it or inside your walls. Because tunnels are a strong indication of termite presence but are so difficult to locate, termite inspectors use various technologies to locate the presence of these tunnels, even in areas where you can’t readily see them.
Like tunnels, mud tubes are a very strong indication that you have a termite problem. Subterranean termites — which typically cause the most damage — prefer to congregate beneath your home and travel to and from their food source. Mud tubes exist near termite nests and function as a protective channel through which these tiny pests travel to reach their food sources. Look for thin tubes — about the diameter of a pencil — made of wood dust and soil that extend between a wood source and a soil source. You can test the tube for activity by puncturing a small section of it. If termites emerge, you can be certain they’re traveling to and from your home’s wood and its foundation.
Do any of these telltale signs strike a cord? If so, it’s time to give our pest control professionals a call. Our termite eradication solutions offer homeowners a wide variety of options designed to not only eliminate existing termite infestations but prevent future occurrences as well. Our experienced team has been serving Brisbane and the surrounding areas for over 20 years with honest, reliable and effective pest control solutions. Contact our team today to schedule your inspection and service appointment!