Termites are considered most concerning pests the house owner would ever encounter. One thing to understand here is that termites can be a very difficult thing to spot. It is very important to get the pest control service involved in checking up your house and have it regularly inspected for this matter. A lot of the warning signs of termites around the house you will be able to see, but even if you see them it might be too late to do something about it, as a lot of damage will be done. Termites actually do five billion dollars damage across the US in a year. And unfortunately, some of those damages are not covered by house insurances. When you notice the signs of termites inside of your house, you want to get them out before they cause real damages.
First warning sign – discarded wings
So the first warning sign that you might notice is the discarded wings. Usually what happens is – they would go from one colony to another. When their home runs out of food, they would travel to search for another one. They wouldn’t go too far, it is actually always close to one another. This would be happening on the warm spring day – that’s when the termites would come from inside of their nest, which is very often under the ground and fly to find a home. So when the termites land in the place where they decide to start a new colony, they drop off their wings right away, because they will not use them again. And one more specific thing about this process is that they normally do it all together. So you might find a sign of termites outside of your house - a big pile of wings, just lying altogether. You should keep an eye on your window sills and other areas, where you have open windows with access for the pests. These are the most common spots, where those wings should be searched for. That is the warning sign number one.
Second warning sign of having termites in your house – mud tubesThe second key point, that I would be looking for if I want to spot the signs of termites in my house are the mud tubes. If you see the mud tube on the exterior of the wall extended from the ground up on the wall – the termites are nearby. There is one thing that you might not know about the termites – their skin is very thin and does not protect them well. What happens if they can dehydrate and dry out very easily. So they really need to live in a super humid environment. And this is actually one of the reasons why we see the termite issue more across southern states than in northern states. And also the places in the house where people normally should look for the termites signs are mostly under the house areas - the cellars, basements and inside of the lower walls. As those areas are dark humid and from there the termites can move throughout your home. But in order for them not to get dehydrated and dry out, they will build the mud tubes, that will allow them to move around the house easily So you will be searching the mud tunnels on your house and it's foundation. They will be about a width of a pen.
The way to check if there are active termites in is to cut the tube open. You will be able to see termites coming out of it or if not, you should come back later and see if the termites came back to tube rebuilt their rout. The termites will repair those tubes very fast, as this is the easiest and safest way for them to transport from the nest to the food locations. There are actually two types of insects that use the shelter tunnels to travel. Those are the termites and the ants. It is very important to identify the insect, as there is damage from the termites, but there is no damage from the ant. The structure of both insects is very similar, but it is very important to see the difference between the two. So there are three ways to see if it is an ant or a termite in front of you:
- The first difference is their antennae – the termites' is straight, while the ants have it with the 90 degrees angle.
- Both of them have four wings, but the termites have their wings all same length, while the ants have two shorter wings.
- The termites have the thick robust body, while ants have constricted abdomen body.
The third warning sign – harmed wood itselfAt a certain point, the termite damage can be visible for a naked eye. This is the third one of warning signs of having termites in your house walls and it is almost the hardest to spot. It is the wood damage itself. So the termites feed on this wood, the drill through it to be able to find the food sources. So what happens is – they can weaken the structure of the house itself. They can drill small halls in it, can build small tunnels in it, but the problem is that most of them would be hidden inside of your walls. So you will not be able to see, what’s happening inside there. But what you can see is the small tiny halls in the drywall. The termites would make those halls from inside to out, so it is hard to spot them, but you can knock on the wooden wall and if it sounds hollow, you probably have termites in your walls. Here are some signs of termites in your house walls:
- The wooden dust on the floor.
- Small tiny halls on the drywall.
- The wall feels bubbly.
- The paint is flicking off the wall.
The wooden dust is not the real dust itself; it is the leftover that stays behind the termites after they feed on the wood. Also, you can notice those signs on your wooden furniture or wooden floor, if it became weak or softened. This would mean that the termites are working inside of the wall. Unfortunately, this sign of termites is hard to notice, cause the termites would be making damage for two years inside there before anything can be spotted. Actually, if you are able to see the damage, we can speak of 5 to 8 years termites’ activity in the house. In the serious cases, termites can bring down the entire house.
Preventing termites in your houseEven if you don’t find any signs of termites in your house, it doesn’t mean, that there isn’t any. If you haven’t checked your house for the termites ever since you bought your house, you should call the specialist now. A professional will know where to look and even use specialized equipment to check for the termites inside the walls.
And if you want to make sure that you don’t have termites, here are some useful tips for house owners to prevent the termite’s infestation:
- Make sure you inspect your house regularly.
- Try to eliminate moisture and standing water around your yard and the area near the house. This can be any broken water pipe or any broken drain pipe.
- Another tip is to clean every breathing wood in your house area. You also want to make sure that you store your firewood at least 20 inches far from the house structure.
- Trim your vegetation around the house.
In the conclusion, we would like to notice that if you suspect the termite’s infection in your house it is very important, that you take the action rapidly, as the more you wait, the further the damage spreads. The termites can cause huge damage to the structure of your house, so if you suspect the termite’s infestation, it is always better to seek advice from the pests’ specialist.