Signs of Termites
Termites. These little wood destroying organisms are one of the biggest fears for homeowners here in south Texas and for good reason. It has been estimated that in the United States, termites cause more than $5 billion worth of damage to homes and businesses every year. Due to our warm climate, termites swarm during Springtime, dispersing to start new colonies. Because termites are subterranean, infestations often start from inside of homes, so It is important to know the signs of termites. Keep reading to learn how to identify common indicators for termites.
One of the most telltale signs of termites are the presence of mud tubes. Termites construct mud tubes for shelter as they travel between their underground colonies and your home. Mud tubes are usually about the width of a pencil and can often be seen on the exterior foundation of homes. Next time you’re outside, take a walk around your home and look around the concrete foundation for mud tubes or mud streaks.
Spring is typically when large numbers of termites with wings, known as “swarmers,” appear in homes. As mentioned previously, swarming is the way termites disperse to start new colonies each year. Termites are not very good at flying, so if you see a winged termites in or near your home, chances are there are a lot of termites nearby looking to settle and reproduce. Once the termites have landed and mated, they will remove their wings and will leave them behind. If you see any termites with wings or you see any detached wings on window sills or anywhere else in your home, it’s best to call a local professional pest control company to inspect and give you a quote on termite control.
When termites chew through wood, they leave behind grooves in the wood similar to mazes or tunnels. Over time, the zig-zag of mazes will begin to weaken the structural integrity of the wood. Since termites like all kinds of wood and they eat the wood from the inside out, fragile baseboards, squeaking floors and hollow sounding wood can all be signs of termite activity. In fact, one of the most common ways that a termite infestation is discovered is when a vacuum goes through a baseboard or a finger pressed into a door frame goes through the wood.
Frass – Termite Droppings
Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites don’t use their feces to build tunnels. Drywood termites will push their droppings away from their nest, usually by creating a small hole near the entrance to their nest. In a home, frass typically presents itself as brown dust or miniature brown pellets. Keep a close eye around your home for any signs of termite droppings. If you find some small brown pellets or dust like droppings underneath a small hole in wood, then you probably have termites.
Termites can cause tremendous amounts of damage to homes and should always be dealt with by a professional. If you aren’t sure if you have termites, give us a call to schedule a termite inspection. Green Country Pest Control is always here to help.