No one wants termites, those ant-like, wood-eating insects, to set up housekeeping in their home. However, every year, termites cause around five billion dollars of damage to homes and businesses in the United States. Catching an infestation early is key to preventing serious damage. Since termites are slow eaters, early detection can stop them from compromising your support beams and ceiling joists. Do you know what to look for when searching for termites?
Clues that you may have termites in your home
1. You see flying insects at the foundation line. While the majority of termites are flightless, the queen and her mates do have wings and swarm during mating season, usually in the spring and fall. Since they don't travel far from the colony, the best place to look for these swarms is around the soil line, near the foundation of your home. Piles of discarded wings are another warning sign of termites.
2. You notice mud tubes. Mud tubes are another sure indicator that termites are living close by. Termites require a moist, dark environment in order to thrive, so they construct pencil-like tubes to travel. If you see these on tree stumps near your home or along your foundation, it's time to call a pest control professional.
3. You find tiny piles of dirt in the corners of your attic or basement. Tiny piles of dirt are another sign of termite activity. Since these tiny insects are continually entering and exiting your home, they can bring a little bit of dirt in with them.
4. Boards sound hollow when tapped. Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out. That's why so many homes have significant damage before the homeowners notice any termites. Test your support beams and other wooden boards by tapping on them lightly. If they sound hollow, you may have a termite problem.
5. Peeling or bubbling paint. Irregularities in the surface of painted wooden beams and baseboards can be another warning sign of termites. Termite activity, saliva, and excrement can cause your paint to bubble prematurely. Although there are many other things that can cause paint to peel, this sign bears future investigation.
If you do find signs of termites, this isn't a problem you want to deal with yourself. Eradicating termites completely so that they stay away from your property requires special equipment and training. If you suspect you have termites, it's time to call a professional pest control company like Garrie Pest Control.