Termites typically live in colonies underneath your home and when the ground thaws, they emerge, entering your structure through cracks in the foundation. You won’t even know they are there until you see signs in your home.
Signs of Termite Infestation
The following list indicates common signs of a subterranean termite infestation. It is recommended that you have your house thoroughly inspected by a pest control professional trained to detect what can be subtle signs of termites.
The appearance of a swarm of what looks like flying ants is a good indication of the existence of a termite nest. Swarming occurs when a colony reaches a certain size and is most common in the spring (March, April, May, and June). Most swarmers emerge on warm days after rain.
Bugs and bug parts
You may see live termites in your home. Reproductive kings and queens are 1/2″ long, winged and black or brown in color. Workers are sterile and usually hidden within infested wood. They are 1/4″ long, wingless and white. You might also see piles of wings, indicating that the swarmers have entered their next phase of development.
Subterranean termites live in the ground and build “mud tubes” – pencil-sized tubes made from mud particles, saliva, and fecal matter that connect the nest to the food source. Mud tubes are proof of termite infestation, but their absence does not necessarily mean that a structure is free of termites. You can break open tubes to determine if termites are still active inside. Termites often rebuild damaged tubes, another indication of continued activity. Old tubes are dry and will crumble easily.
Termite-damaged wood makes a hollow sound when tapped with a hammer and may appear crushed at structural bearing points. If you pick and probe the surface of an infested piece of wood with a sharp object, you will find tunnels running parallel to the wood’s grain.
What to do
Termite problems are not a do-it-yourself project. If termites have invaded your home, contact a pest control professional like Amco Ranger that can provide ongoing treatment to protect your largest investment – your home.