If you are a home or business owner, the last you thing you want is a termite infestation. These tiny soft-bodied insects can wreak havoc on the structure of your property. If not eliminated, they can cause costly repairs or worse. Fortunately, you do not need to be an expert to determine if your property is infested. These signs are common among both subterranean and dry wood termites.
Here’s what to look out for:
While sagging wood can be related to other problems, it is often connected with a termite infestation. This is because termites tend to burrow in wood. As they do this, it makes the wood weaker over time. This results in sagging floors and even hollow areas. If your wood flooring seems off or weaker than usual, it is time to call a termite inspector to come take a closer look.
Piles of Frass
Termite droppings are known as “frass”. This excrement is typically very fine and powdery, making it easy to mistake for dirt or debris. It often looks like sawdust due to the presence of wood in their diet. Termites usually leave droppings through holes that they create in wood in order to keep their space clean. If you notice piles of frass inside your home, you may have termites. You should also inspect the exterior of your property as termites can be present outside as well. Over time, they may move indoors, making it critical to eliminate the problem before it starts.
Reproductive termites, known as swarmers, have wings. During the springtime, they often take flight in order to search for new places to breed and form a colony. Often times, the wings fall off and may be found on the property. If you notice the presence of small wings, it may be termites.
Swarmers often stay outdoors but may come inside after rainfall or snow. These termites may be mistaken for ants or a similar insect. Finding swarmers around the exterior of your property does not necessarily mean they have infested the interior. However, finding them indoors is a tell-tale sign that they have infested your building.
Tunnels and Tubes
Termites are notorious for making tunnels and tubes which they use to search for food. These small crevices often go unnoticed and can vary in size. Typically, they are only a few millimeters wide. Look carefully around the wood in your property and the exterior of it. Termites often make their tubes in the mud. If you notice any strange tubes or tunnels, be sure to contact a specialist for help.
Blisters in Wood
Most people associate blisters in wood with water damage. However, termites can cause blisters also. If you notice blistering wood in your property, carefully inspect it to make sure it is not related to water.
Termites often destroy the core of wood materials, leaving the exterior intact. This makes it difficult for home and property owners to determine if there is an infestation. However, wood that may appear untouched may actually be hollow on the inside and break easily. If you notice wood panels or flooring that is broken due to unexplainable reasons, it may be the fault of termites. This sign is especially dangerous for the integrity of your home or building and can be a safety concern.
Discovering whether or not you are dealing with a termite infestation can be challenging, especially since the signs can vary so greatly.
About The Author
Raymond Knauss is the senior exterminator for Broadway Exterminating in New York City. Being in the pest control business since 1998, Raymond has experienced rodents, bugs & pests of all sizes. Raymond also works directly with the bed-bug K-9 unit, assisting in bed-bug elimination.