Every homeowner fears these tiny and mighty, cellulose-consuming bugs. Termites cause Americans in excess of $5 billion in damage every year. These little devils are native to 49 states, with Alaska being the only locale to avoid their reign of terror. How can you tell if you have termites? Watch for the following signs:
Floor Wall and Ceiling Damage
Do the laminate floors blister or sink in certain areas and not in others, or are they a little springier in certain spots? Look beneath these areas as soon as you find them to determine if there may be an infestation. Check walls and ceilings for cracks, along with the beams in the attic. Cracks could mean that there is termite activity in the home.
Most foundations in todays building standards are made of concrete, which termites do not eat. However, small cracks in the foundation can be an entry point for these pests. Once the termites gain access through the foundation, they have the ability to enjoy a floor joist feast.
Thoroughly check the exterior walls of the home regularly. Mud tubes are created by termites and are usually found near the foundation. These mud tubes are made up of soil and termite droppings, which sounds gross, huh? You can reduce the possibility of mud tubes by getting rid of moisture-rich areas. This includes keeping firewood piles, wood chips and mulch away from the foundation.
When mature termites leave the nest to start new colonies, they will shed their wings much like a snake sheds its skin. If you find small piles of wings in spider webs, or on surfaces in or around your home, this is a good indication you may have a termite problem.
Frass is the term for termite droppings. After making a meal of your home’s wood, termites will leave behind frass in little mounds. The frass is generally located near the colony, which is a clear sign that an infestation is close by.
When doing a termite inspection, make sure and grab a screwdriver to take with you. As you find open beams or joists, tap them with the handle of the screwdriver. Listen as you do this on various pieces of wood. If the wood sounds hollow, you may be in trouble. As termites eat various cellulose materials, they create tunnels and tubes through the material, which will create a hollow sound.
If you do find signs of termites in your home, contact a pest control company immediately. Addressing this problem sooner rather than later can make a huge financial difference in damage done to your home.