Termites are every homeowner's worst nightmare. These tiny insects have been known to wreak havoc on the structure and foundation of homes, and can cost thousands of dollars to completely eradicate. If you think you might have a termite problem in your home, there are several signs you should be aware of. Most North American termites live either underground (subterranean) or build colonies inside pieces of wood (drywood termites). Read on to learn about the warning signs of a possible termite issue.
Keep Your Eye on the Swarm
Termites are certainly not solitary creatures. Like many other insects, they group together in massive swarms, which is why the damage they can cause is so significant. Take a look around and try to see if you spot groups of insects hanging around the foundation of your home. You can also look for discarded wings, and some species will "shed' those wings as they grow. Termites that live underground are more prevalent in the spring months, while those that live in wood can appear at almost any time of the year.
Knock on Wood
Do a simple test on parts of your home such as door and window frames and outside stairs. Simply tap on the wood and listen for a hollow sound. If the wood sounds like it's hollow and not solid, there may be termites nearby, or the wood has already suffered a previous attack. You may not be able to notice damage with the naked eye, but the hollow sound you hear from a tap could be an indication of a problem lurking under the surface.
Take a look around at painted window frames or anywhere else your home is painted on the outside. If it looks as if the paint is starting crack or warp, it could mean trouble. The termite species that lives inside of wood will burrow tiny holes and can literally chew through paint in order to get underneath and attack the wood. If you're uncertain whether the paint issue is just wear and tear, you may want to contact a pest control service who can come and verify your concerns.
Beware of Mud Tubes
Termites build small tubes made of mud to help give them extra moisture while they're burrowing down and beginning to feast on wood surfaces. Look around the perimeter of your home and see if you notice any of these tubes. If you do, there's a good chance a colony has already take up residence down below. By using these simple checks, you can get a better idea if your home has fallen victim to destructive termites. Contact a pest control company, like Fowler Pest Control, if you need help.