Termites are a destructive pest that can wreak havoc on your property in a very short amount of time. Not only can they cause thousands of dollars in damage, but they can contribute to the structural instability of your home, and they can do this all without you even knowing they’re there. We’re going to give you several signs that you may have a termite infestation, so you know how to detect and treat them before they do lasting damage.
10 Signs of a Termite Infestation
Fortunately, there are several signs you can keep an eye out for that’ll clue you into whether or not termites are causing damage to your home or property. We’ve rounded up several classic signs and outlined them below.
1. Flying Termites
Flying termites are a very good indicator that you have a problem developing. Known as alates or swarmers, both male and female termites fly around looking for a place to mate and establish a termite colony. Depending on the species, some swarm during the night to light sources, some swarm during the daylight hours but all drywood termites tend to be the most active right after any rains. If you notice them around your home, start to look both inside and outside for any possible nooks or crannies where they could settle.
2. Hollow or Papery Sounding Wood
Termites tend to eat wood or timber from the inside out, and they usually leave a very thin layer behind. It can even be just the paint on your walls. When you tap or knock on an area that has damage due to termites, you’ll get a hollow or papery sound. This is because all of the internal wood except for that thin layer is gone due to the termites eating it.
3. Doors that are Hard to Open or Tight-Fitting Windows
Tight-fitting windows are doors that seem to stick or be hard to open usually are the result of humid or wet weather that causes the wood to swell. However, did you know that it can also be a telltale sign of termites? Termites produce moisture when they tunnel and eat through the wood in these areas, and this can cause the wood that’s left to warp. In turn, you get sticky doors and hard-to-open windows.
4. Head Banging
If you sit in complete silence once and you hear a quiet clicking sound coming from your walls, this could be the worker termites head-banging. They use head-banging as a form of communication to warn the other termites of danger. They’re also very noisy when they’re eating, and you should be able to hear them if you put your ear to the wall. Additionally, one study showed that termites who got exposed to rock music ate at around two times faster than termites who didn’t get rock music!
Did you know that drywood termites don’t use their droppings in their nest construction? Instead, they will push their droppings out small holes near the entrance of their nests. This is one of the main things that an exterminator will look for when they search for signs of a termite infestation. You can look for small black marks and a powdery, black substance along your walls or in any smaller cracks or corners. If you see it, you’ve likely found a nest entrance.
6. Discarded Wings
Once the male and female termites find a mate and a suitable place to start the colony, they shed their wings. They’ll crawl into their chosen spot and seal it off. Then, they’ll start the mating process to begin a new termite colony. These two are the king and queen of the new colony, and they’ll care for the young termites until the worker termites can take over this process. Once they do, the king continues to tend to the queen and grow the colony for as long as a decade.
7. Earthen or Mud Packing
As the termites work inside the walls of your home, they start to produce a mud or earthen-type packing. You’ll notice this packing in the joints or foundation of your walls the most. They shape this packing into tubes and use it as an added layer of protection for the workers and the colony as they continue to cause damage to your walls.
8. Hollow Wood and Sagging Flooring
When a termite causes damage, they do so by burrowing into the wood and creating a honeycomb pattern that is difficult to detect from the outside. As they continue to burrow in and eat more of the flooring, it compromises the structural integrity. Eventually, you’ll notice that your floors start to sag and sound hollow when you walk over them. If you don’t fix it, it could potentially lead to a collapse.
9. Tunnels in the Wood
Termite tunnels are commonly called galleries. While they’re difficult to see in your home, you want to check any wood or timber around your home for signs of these small tunnels. It’s a big clue that you have termites tunnelling through your walls and flooring in your house if you see it around your home. There are newer technologies that can help to detect these tunnels, but you really want to catch it before it gets to this point.
10. White Ants
There is no such thing as a white ant, and a lot of people confuse termites for them because they do look similar when the termites lose their wings. Termites are lighter coloured and their antennas are straight instead of bent like an ants are. Termites also secrete a lot thicker waste product than ants do, and a termite’s wings are the same size where an ant’s wings have one pair that is larger than the other.
Contact Dependable Pest Control for Termite Protection Today!
If you believe you have a problem with termites, you don’t want to wait. The longer you wait, the more severe the damage can be. Contact our professional and knowledgeable staff to schedule your termite inspection today!