Pest Control Blog

Top 3 Warning Signs Your Home Has Termites

October 19th, 2017 by Mike MacDonald in Pest Control Services, Termites

Termites like to hide in the dark corners of your home and they can be difficult to spot. This post is about the top 3 warning signs that your home has termites, so you can get help from a pest control service before it’s too late.

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Termites can do a lot of damage before you see any warning signs that your home has termites

If you don’t get to termite issues quickly, they can potentially do thousands of dollars of damage in your home. Termites actually end up doing billions of dollars of damage every year in the US alone.

Identifying potential top warning signs your home has termites is essential to keep damage to a minimum or prevent large scale infestations of termites. Termites are pests that feed on wood and typically can burrow deep in the structure of your home making their warning signs hard to spot.

1 Top Warning Sign your home has termites: Discarded termite wings

You might not know it but swarming termites actually have wings. At the same time, you probably won’t see any termites with wings because as soon as termites decide to start a new colony, they fly a short distance away and then remove their own wings.

Once the new colony has been established there isn’t any reason for these termites to travel again so they quickly discard their wings. Seeing piles of termite wings can be a dead give away that you could have a potential termite problem.

Another Top warning sign your home has termites is seeing termite mud tubes

Termites actually require a very humid environment in order to survive. Termites have a very thin layer of skin, so when they are exposed to environments with little humidity they can quickly dry out and die.

Termites will often enter your home through the basement, cellar, or foundation of your home as those areas are usually more humid environments. In addition to humid environments being perfect for termites to live in, it also causes wood to deteriorate even faster, making it an easier food source for termites.

Because of this potential for death from dry environments, termites make “mud tubes” as a form of transportation to keep humidity in. There are various kinds of mud tubes and they include uses such as: a working tube, a exploratory tube, and a drop tube.

The termites use a working mud tube as a way to travel from their nest and can go between their nests through soil and to wood sources. Termites use an exploratory mud tube to reach out from soil sources. Finally, they use drop tubes as a path from their wood food source back into soil.

Seeing mud tubes around your home can be a sure warning sign that termites could be in your home. You can also test to see if these tubes are still active by removing a middle section of the tube and checking if termites come out, or waiting a day or so to see if the tube has been repaired. Keep in mind that just because a specific tube is inactive does not mean that the colony is still in your home in a different area.

If you see termites when you do this, or the mud tube has been repaired, you unfortunately have an active termite problem.

3rd Top Warning sign that your home has termites: Wood damage

The 3rd most common warning sign that your home has termites is wood damage. Unfortunately, this is most likely the hardest one to notice and if you have this already going on, you definitely need to have your home treated by a pest control service immediately before extensive damage occurs.

In many cases, you might not be able to see damage from termites without removing parts of the wall to get to the studs. Termites will dig little groves and holes into the wood in search of food. This could even cause wood to make hollow sounds, and can even cause floor boards to sag.

Other visible sings that wood damage could be going on behind the scenes could be tings like peeling paint that would look like it had water damage, tiny holes in dry wall, maze like groves in floor boards, walls, or furniture.

Wood damage is probably the hardest sign to spot from termites, and we recommend having a trained termite inspector check over your home regularly as they can find many problems before extensive damage has been done.

This is especially important if you are planning to sell your home in the near future as termite problems can drastically reduce the value of your home, cause thousands of dollars in repair, or even cause a potential sale of your home to fall through. We also recommend having this inspection done before purchasing a home since most termite problems aren’t easily seen.

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