Termites are known as a modern plague and a disaster for house owners. They can easily attack your house and other property, bring a horrible damage for a short period of time. In the situation, if you are getting termites, you would need to know how to react and get rid of them as soon as possible. First of all, what you need to do is to have an inspection and check for termites in your house. See below the main steps, you need to take, while checking the presence of termites on your property:

  1. First look around your yard or area next to your house – if there are any flying termites, your house might be infected. Try to catch one of the flying insects and put into a jar. Then bring it to the pests control service to make sure, that this is a termite, not any other flying insect. 
  2. Next step is to check the window sills and sliding doors steps for the presence of small piles of leftover wings. Termites are leaving their wing behind if they settle in a new home. 
  3. Examine closely foundation and the outside walls of your house. Termites, after they settle, normally would build special tunnels. They are making it out of the mud. So you will easily notice them on the walls – they are black in colour and have a size of a pencil. If you open or cut one of the tunnels, you might see termites coming out. If there will be none, the pests are still inside of your house. 
  4. Take a close look at any wooden outside coatings of your house. Termites, after feeding on wood – leave small tunnels and dust behind. Look for small holes in drywall and dust on the floor next to it.
  5. After building the nest inside of the wooden wall or any other place, termites would take out their “garbage”. So if you find it somewhere in the house, clean it up and see if it will appear again. And if it will, this means your house is infected.

How to check for termites in the wood?

Wood termites normally live inside of the structural beams, furniture and wooden floors. In order for you to find out if there are termites in any wood on your property, just use this instruction to check for the presence of termites yourself:

  1. Start inspecting the wood from the trees in your yard. Termites would attack it first, as they normally live under the ground and to climb up the tree from the inside is much easier for them rather than building tunnels in the house walls. Take any metal instrument and knock on the tree – try to knock as high as possible. If you hear a hollow sound, it means that termites have their living area inside.
  2. Listen, while you are inspecting the wood in the house too. Take any metal instrument and knock the wood by sections. You should check the wooden walls, furniture and floors. If you hear, that any section is hollow – you might find termites inside.
  1. Search for the tunnels, coming from the ground to the wooden constructions. When termites are running low on food, they move to another wooded area for more using mud tunnels. As their bodies are covered with very light skin, they need to stay in the wet and dark area, not to die from dehydration. So the tunnels would help them to move around. 
  1. If the colony of termites lives in the wood for a while, the damage becomes noticeable. The wooden pieces are coming off very easily and the wood seems soft, even if you press on it with your hand. So what you need to do is to open the piece of wood that you think is damaged and take a look inside. The colony of wooden termites would leave damage, looking like the beam below. Those kinds of termites are the most dangerous ones. Normally, you would need a specialist to get rid of them.

Another kind of termites called wooden termites is also not pleasant, but less dangerous. They are simply eating less wood. The colony of wooden termites can count up to thousands of species, but to get to this number they will need a few years. And even in this case, they will be eating only 230 grams of wood a year. 

How to check for termites inside the walls?

If we are speaking of detecting signs, that you have termites in your home, the best place to check for them will be on your drywall. Here how you would check for termites on the wall:

  1. First, slide your hand on the wall from top to bottom and see if there is any bubbling or paint flicking off the wall.
  2. If the paint has fallen off, you can actually see the “salt and pepper” or the paper missing between the paint and the sheetrock.
  3. On the baseboard, you will be looking for any honeycombing or if you push it with your finger, you will be able to indent or the baseboard will be very weak.
  4. Also, you need to take a look up and see if there are any shelter tunnels, coming from the ceiling to the walls. This would mean that you have termites coming from the attic to the walls.

How to check for termites in the furniture?

All of us have favourite things in our houses. When we furnish the house, we take special pride in this process. Considering this, it would be a shame to lose any furniture to a bunch of termites. So here how you should check your furniture for termites:

  1. First, let’s have a close look at any wooden piece of furniture – for example, a nightstand. The first thing to check will be the top of it – pass your hand and see if there is any reddish dust on it. This would be the sign that termite just starting the attack and you can catch it right away.
  2. Next sign on your furniture would be small holes that have some sort of white dust in it. This means that termites have been hiding in there for two or three years now.
  3. Look down to the floor next to the furniture. If it has the bottom drawer, that you open or close all the time, you will see something like remaining of wood there. These are the excrement’s, that termites live behind and they are falling down to the floor next to the furniture.
  4. Then to make sure, that the termites are inside eating your furniture, you need to pull out all the drawers that you might have in it and reach out with flashlight to the corners. Then you will see if the termites are still there.

How to check for termites inside of the pallets?

Some of you may wonder – why would you need to check the pallets for termites and where would you even find those pallets? Sometimes the termites that live on the pallets can come to your home just by flying a few meters. If you are having any house reconstruction or even your neighbours have it, you should know how to detach the infested pallet. And if you are running a business, where you are using pallets for delivery, then you must know how to check them for termites yourself:

  1. As we spoke already, termites are afraid of hit and the sun. So the companies producing pallets or any other wood for building constructions would treat them with a hit to make sure there are no pests in them. After the treatment, they would put a stamp on the pallet “HT”, which means it has been Heat Treated. If you see this sign on the pallet, it means it is safe from termites.
  2. In case if you don’t find the sign of safety on the pallet, then you might want to inspect it closer for the presence of termites. For this, you’ll need a screwdriver and a flashlight. Use a screwdriver to knock on every part of the pallet. Make sure that you do it from both sides, as the damage can be done from the other side, that is not visible to you.
  3. Use fleshlight for a better picture of the wooden pallet – see if there are small holes in it or something that looks like honeycombs. These are the signs of termites.

How to check the reclaimed wood for termites?

If you are house owners and have a wood shop in your yard, or you just want to save some money on the reconstructing or redesigning your house, you might want to use the reclaimed wood. And it is an excellent choice, considering the fact that sometimes you can run into a good pile of free wood. But in this case, you definitely need to check this reclaimed wood for termites or any other pests’ activity. Here is the inspection you’ll need to accomplish:

  1. First, take the pieces of the wood that were stored higher from the ground. If you find small holes in them or the sound of those pieces is hollow – it means that a whole bunch of the wood has been infested. Termites live in the ground, so if the top board is infested – means all of them are.
  2. The second thing that will help you to check the reclaimed wood for termites is to press in the middle of random boards. If they are soft and you can easily scratch them with your finger, then they are having termites inside. Termites are making the wood structure very soft.
  3. You can also see if the wood has been treated for termite before, so probably it is still clean. Look for holes that were drilled in it. If the wood has been treated with chemical and it just has been sprayed all around it, then there is still the possibility of infestation. And if it has been injected inside of the wood – this has been a proper treatment.

How to check for termites in the trees?

After you have done inspections in your house and made sure that you do not have termites there. It is not the time to relax – those creatures could find their way to your yard and locate their colony in one of the trees in the garden. So if you have trees – especially big and old one on your land, we recommend you to do the following steps and check your trees for termites:
  1. Termites would attack the tree starting from its roots, as they normally live under the ground. So what you need to do first is to see if there are any dry dying trees on your land. And start the inspection form them.
  2. Next step is knocking – take the metal instrument – a screwdriver or a small hammer – and do the knocking of the wood starting from the bottom up to the highest level you can reach. Normally, you would hear a hollow sound if there is a colony of termites inside. 
  3. Also, take a close look at the tree’s bark – you might notice small tiny halls coming from inside out. 
  4. If termites were moving up to the tree, not from the inside, they probably used the mud tunnels. You need to check the tree surface for those.
  5. Sometimes it is easy to locate termites’ nest inside of the tree, as they are building it visible for a naked eye.
  6. You need to examine the tree and see what damage has been done – try to open up one piece of bark with a screwdriver. If the tree has been infested for a few years, then the best solution would be to remove it from the territory and burn it. But if the tree still can be saved, the best you can do is to call for a specialist to take care of this problem.

How the specialists and inspectors check for termites?

Sometimes all of us might get really worried and even scared that something will happen to our property. None of us wants to become a sad statistics that the United States have for termites’ damage. And even if you keep inspecting your house, you might want to call for a specialist to take a look at your house too. So how the inspector is checking your house for termites? If the person, you’ve asked for help is a professional, he will be able to say that your house, for example, hasn’t had termite treatment before he rings the doorbell. So let’s take a look at the steps of inspection by professional:

  1. The inspector starts from the house foundation and takes a look at the area around it – he is checking closely areas with a lot of vegetation and next to the gully, as this is perfect living territory for termites. From here they can start building the tunnels to get inside of the house.
  2. Another important aspect, the inspectors would be looking for is the high level of moisture around or in the house.  
  3. Then, while moving to the door, the inspector should check the door itself from the outside. And he would be looking for any tunnels or dirt, that remains from termites coming from the ground. A professional will be able to recognize either this is just a dirt or the mud tunnel.
  4. The inspector would go from the attic or the cellar in the house, as those are the areas least being visited by the house owners. He would be looking for the real damage of the wooden construction.
  1. Then the inspector would move inside of the house itself and check the walls and corners next to those infected areas like attic or basement. He would do the knocking, to make sure that termites are inside of the walls. And take a look if there are any mud tubes on the dry walls.
  2. While checking the walls for termites, the inspector would be paying extra attention to the ceiling. Sometimes the holes from termites coming out are seen.
  3. If the walls have a wallpaper, the inspector would do a “shadowing”. This is how to check if the serface has no bubbling or unevennesses.
  4. And of course, besides the flashlight and the screwdrivers, the inspectors will have all kinds of professional equipment with them. While checking for any anomaly in the walls like shape colour or even smell, the inspector would use the moisture meter.
The next important device in the thermometer for measuring the temperature of the walls to see if there is termites’ activity inside of the walls.

How do you check your house for termites and how often do you check your house for termites?

Here are some pieces of advice on how to check your house for termites yourself. If you have decided to be the inspector for your own house, here’s what you will need:

  1. Coverall clothes, maybe the one you use in the garden. It will help to protect your clothes, while you will be checking the foundation.
  2. A strong flashlight will help during the inspection of the attic and the basement. 
  3. A sharpened object like a screwdriver or a pocket knife. It will be helping you to open up the surfaces to see the inner damage.
  4. To make your inspection more effective, you need to focus on the areas, where most likely termites are going to be – like the basement or the attic.
  5. Pay attention to all the wooden objects in the inspected areas. Also, the cracks in brick constructions and cracks in cement should have your attention. 
As responsible house owners, all of us must know those simple rules how to prevent termites’ appearance in your house:

  1. Warned means armed! Make sure that you are checking your home for termites at least two times a year. 
  2. After reading all the information on “How to check your home for termites?” you still feel uncomfortable doing it? Call the specialist! Eventually, he will save you a lot of money and nerves. 
  3. Everyone should know that the best weather for termites to appear is the rain and the hit after. As they love humidity. So every time it is raining heavily in your area we recommend taking a look if there are any signs of termites around.
  4. Always follow the tips on protecting your house from termites and it will bring you good results. 
All you should do to protect your house and property from termites is to be attentive and careful, call for help rapidly as soon as you started to suspect the pests in your house.