Termites do about $5 billion of damage to American homes every year, according to the National Pest Management Association. The problem with termites is that many homeowners don’t realize they have them in their house until significant damage has been done. If you live in a neighborhood where homeowners have dealt with termites, it’s worth getting an annual inspection from a professional exterminator to ensure you don’t suffer the same damages. Let’s go over the best ways to check for termites on your own.
Have you seen termites?
While they’re usually buried in wood, behind walls or under the floor, termites are sometimes visible, especially as they transition from outside and into a house. They look something like little white ants with wings and in the spring they may swarm around windows and other potential entry points into your house. Search damp areas, especially around wood structure, like in a crawlspace. Even if you don’t see the swarm, you may find evidence of the swarm—a pile of insect wings (looking like tiny fish scales) which they shed when entering wood.
Have you seen the mud tunnels that termites make?
If your home has been infested with termites, you should be able to find mud tunnels, roughly the diameter of a pencil. If termites are eating a wood beam but then run into concrete, they will create a tunnel to run over the concrete to the next wood beam. You can sometimes find these mud tunnels between floor joists or running up from the ground along the foundation of your house.
How about termite droppings?
Sorry to be gross, but some species of termites will open a mud tunnel so they can disposes of their droppings which resemble small, wood-colored pellets. If you find a pile of droppings, you have a serious termite infestation.
Can you detect termites by looking at the structure in your home?
Because termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, it can be hard to detect them by looking at the wood structure until it’s too late. If you see wood structure darkening, blistering or small cracks or holes opening up, you may have a problem. Poke around spots like that with a screwdriver. If the wood crumbles when poked, you should call a pest control expert immediately to find out if you have termites or what is causing this degradation.
Conclusion: Terminate termites right away.
We often give do-it-yourself tips here on the blog, and while you can check for termites on your own, if you find any signs of termite infestation, we urge you to immediately contact a pest control professional to terminate the termites before they can do serious damage to the wood structure of your home. Your response to seeing any signs of termites in your home needs the urgency of a 911-type of call to a pest control expert. A pest control expert will do a thorough inspection and determine which method of extermination will take care of the problem most efficiently.
Got more questions on preventing or fixing termite damage? Give the team at Triple Service today!