Termites infest around 600,000 homes, causing the average homeowner to pay $3,000 in repair bills. The termites cause $5 billion in damage to property across the US each year and a whopping $30 billion in damage to infrastructure and crops.
This highly adaptable insect has survived for millions of years in woods and underground. But you definitely don’t want a termite infestation to set up camp in or around your home.
So, what signs should you watch for that you might have a problem, and how do you get rid of termites?
Read on to learn more about the clues that might tell you that you have a termite infestation and you need professional help to address it.
1. Signs of Termites on Your Property
When looking around for a potential termite problem, the first thing is to walk around your yard and property.
If you have any rotting wood or stumps, you want to inspect them carefully. Look carefully at the opened-up section of wood. If the wood is rotting, attempt to break off a section of the wood.
You may see a mass of small insects, typically white, that look a little like small ants. These are likely termites. This is an issue for you because termites can travel a good distance looking for food.
They could travel to your home to find an additional food source if they are on your property.
2. Exterior Damage Around Your Home
The next place you want to inspect is around the close exterior of your home.
If you have any part of your home that’s wood that touches the soil, this is a good spot to start your inspection. Termites like wet and shady spots, so also consider the location.
Inspect the condition of the wood in that area. If termites are present, it’s likely the wood will be like troughs in the wood, almost like tunnels.
The troughs will have a rough feel to the touch if termites are present. Carpenter ants also chew in troughs, but they are usually smooth.
3. Discarded Wings
Termites build and live in colonies. When their colony is full, they will send out termite swarmers. More on this shortly.
They hope to look for and build a new colony when they send out the swarmers. A sign that you have a pest infestation is what’s left behind when they go looking for a new colony location.
You might see discarded wings when they move. Look for these in places like:
- Window sills
- Decks or patios
- Foundation walls
- In spider webs
If you see discarded wings, you need to look for more signs of the termites’ location.
4. Termite Swarmers
Physically seeing termite swarmers is pretty rare, but a sure sign you might need to investigate further.
Termite swarmers are so rare to actually see because they only occur once or twice a year and for a short window, often less than an hour.
The swarmers are busy looking for a new colony. When spotted outside, you need to look at places around your home that would be susceptible to an infestation.
If you see termite swarmers inside your home, it’s a sure sign you already have an infestation.
5. Mud Tubes
Generally speaking, termites don’t like heat, sun, or air on themselves. To avoid these elements, the termites will build mud tubes.
The mud tubes act like tunnels that allow the termite to travel from the soil to the wood.
They actually use the soil to create the tunnels. You’d most likely find wood tunnels in cool, wet spots around your home. Look closely at the foundation of your house or cement blocks for a crawl space.
If your home has any foundation made from concrete blocks, the termites might build tunnels inside the concrete blocks, making it a real challenge to know they’re present in your home.
7. Stuck Doors and Windows
It’s no secret that termites like wood. They will also seek wood from the most accessible location, which is often wood windows and door frames.
As termites start to eat away at wood doors, windows, and door frames, they lose their support. When the windows don’t have any support, they become more difficult to open and close.
Sometimes, moisture seeps into the openings created by the termites, and the doors and windows don’t function as well.
Get Help With Your Termite Infestation
You don’t want to ignore any signs of a termite infestation. The more quickly you address it, the less damage it can cause.
If you’re unsure about the signs you’re seeing, you can seek a professional pest control for an inspection. Let us help you with pest control issues; schedule your free inspection today.