In the U.S., termites are notorious in destroying wood structures. It is even estimated that more than $2 billion of damages is spent yearly in controlling and preventing invasion of termites.
Termites are considered social insects. They live in a nest that is commonly created underground. In their natural habitat, termites often build their colonies in a tree or wood pile. Their colony follows a hierarchy with a king, queen, soldiers and workers. Once they find a good settlement for their colony, they will populate and in most cases, it would be difficult to find them. Cases where it takes years to finally find these termites from their hiding places are common. So how would you know if your home is infested?
Here are five signs to know if your home have termites:
Swarming. Swarming is a telltale sign that you have a termite infestation. Swarming usually occur during the spring. It can also happen September or October and in late winter, and will occur during the day, commonly on warm days following rain.
Shelter tubes. Termites do not go out of their colony. Once they are there, they stay there. The wood that they are staying in will be their source of food and home. These termites will build a tunnel through materials such as wood or they can build larger mud tubes.
Hollowed wood. Termites choose to be in dark, humid environments, which is why they commonly feed inside the wood where they would not be seen by anyone. You may be able to see the wood’s surface to be intact and smooth outside, but the truth is, these pests are already infesting and damaging the wood. When tapped, if wood sounds hollow, this may be the cause of termites already eating the wood from the inside out.
Frass. Termites also produce wood-colored droppings called frass. This is produced as they eat their way out through rotten wood, or they will simply chew small holes in the wood to push these droppings out. These fecal pellets can be found in little piles beneath the infested area.
Dirt in wood. Termites commonly bring back dirt to the wood, which is a good indicator of an infestation. Mud that can be found are about the size of the width of a pencil along interior or exterior walls. These pests will build tunnels to travel from around their nest to their food source, which is commonly the wood around your home. Since they are particularly attracted to damp wood, the mud tubes that they create may be found in basements and tunnels. Tunnels that are created by subterranean termites are made of their own feces or frass as part of their material for tubes.
Termites do not just invade wood. They also infest anything that has cellulose such as paper, cardboard boxes, carpeting, and the likes. While they feed and create a colony, they can destroy non-cellulose products like plastic and foam board. The damage they cause may depend on when the infestation was discovered, the area where it infested and the years they spent destroying the structure. However, extreme termite damage commonly takes about three to eight years.
Once you find a termite infestation, do not panic! Make sure to have your home inspected by a pest management professional and do not rush into making decisions on how to deal with them. Assess the pest management professional that you called and see if they are the right people to work on your problem. Once you have allowed the professional to do the work for you, you can just sit back and relax for a while since your home will soon be rid of these pests.
Horizon Pest Control offers solutions on termite infestations and can properly identify and eliminate the different types of termites. If you want to learn more about our services or if you want to schedule an appointment visit Residential Termite Control.
Paper Party Straws (Set of 25)