You’re probably aware of the type of damage that termites cause. These wood-eating pests can quickly and massively undermine the foundation of your home.
But do you know how to tell if your home has termites? You may not realize you have termites until it is too late. The sooner you are aware of your termite problem, the better. Here are some tips for how to tell if you have termites.
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Seven Common Signs of Termites
If you think you may have termites, here are seven signs to look for:
- Frass: Frass refers to the droppings that termites leave after digesting wood from your home. If you notice a pile of wood-colored pellets in various spots around your home, you might be dealing with termites.
- Wood damage: If you notice wood damage, your home may already be in big trouble. Termites eat wood from the inside out, which is why they can be so difficult to detect. If you see pieces of wood near windows or doors, blistering wood or wood that sounds hollow, it’s time for a termite inspection. Another telltale sign is if a piece of wood breaks off and you see tunnels or “galleries” inside. If this happens, you can be sure termites are in the vicinity.
- Bubbling paint: While bubbling paint is most often a sign of water damage, it also occurs when you have termites, because termite infestations produce moisture. If you notice paint bubbling in different areas of your home, start looking for other signs of termite infestation.
- Swarmers and wings: Often the first sign of a termite infestation is the presence of swarmers or their discarded wings. The swarmers are essentially the scouts of the termite colony. When spring arrives, these winged termites strike out to find a new home to build their colony. When they find it, it may be your home. If you see these winged beasts or the wings they shed, a termite colony is about to begin or may have already begun.
- Mud tubes: There are two types of termites: drywood termites and subterranean termites. Subterranean termites can be even tougher to find because they build their colony away from the wood they eat in your home. These termites live in your garden or under your house. Since they do not have direct access to the wood, they get there by building mud tubes — tunnels near your foundation that allow them a path for access. If you notice these tubes around your home, subterranean termites have arrived.
- Warped doors and windows: Termite activity creates moisture. This moisture can change the shape of wooden door and window frames, making those doors and windows tougher than usual to open. If you notice warped wood around your doors and windows that are making them stick, consider termites as a possible explanation.
- Sounds: If you listen carefully to your wood, you may be able to hear termites. You can hear worker termites chopping away at the wood if you put your ear near the wood where they are eating. The soldier termites that protect the colony also make a distinctive noise to signal the rest of the colony to be on alert. This may sound like gentle clicking sounds emanating from your walls.
The Dangers of Termite Damage
While termites don’t present a danger to humans directly, the damage they can do to your house is catastrophic. If left alone and undetected for any length of time, they can dramatically undermine the structural integrity of your home. Termites are responsible for over five billion dollars of property damage in the United States every year.
Worst of all, termite damage is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance. Unless you have a special rider to your policy or separate termite insurance, you could be on the hook for a massive home repair bill.
If termites do too much damage to your foundation before you detect them, parts of your home could collapse without warning. There is no question that if you suspect a termite infestation, you need to schedule a professional inspection right away.
Contact Pestech for Integrated Pest Management Solutions
Termite control and inspection are some of our specialties at Pestech. Our Integrated Pest Management solutions are customized to target your particular pest problem using methods that are both environmentally friendly and effective.
If you suspect you have a termite problem, contact us immediately. We have over 30 years of experience controlling pest problems in homes and can handle your commercial termite problem in Wappingers Falls, Batavia, Utica, Ferndale and other areas throughout New York. To schedule a termite inspection, call us or fill out an online contact form, today!