One of the scariest sentences a homeowner can hear from a termite control professional is the phrase: “You have termites.” Termites are one of the worst pests to find in your home, more worrisome than spiders, ants, or just about any other pest. Unlike other creepy crawlers, termites have the potential to cause significant damage to home and property. Not only do termites threaten the overall physical stability of your house itself, they also pose a financial nightmare due to the extensive damage they cause and can lead to potential safety hazards around your home.
These tiny, relentless pests can silently devour the wooden structures of your home, compromising its structural integrity and possibly leading to thousands of dollars in damage. Addressing a termite infestation promptly can save you from costly repairs down the line. If you suspect termites, it’s crucial to take action immediately and consult with a termite control professional to protect your most significant investment – your home. It’s important to be proactive about termite prevention and detection.
The Real Monsters Under Your Floor Boards
Termites’ small, soft bodies are deceptive. These little monsters are attracted to moist, warm environments, meaning they’re common in humid climates like that of Ohio. Termites often enter homes through cracks or holes in the foundation, walls, or roof. They can also enter through doors or windows that aren’t properly sealed.
Once termites find appropriate refuge in your home, they create large colonies (infestations) that live to feed on wood and other sources of cellulose around your property, destroying unprotected homes and other items made of wood. They are notoriously difficult to detect because they’re almost constantly hidden by the soil and wood in which they live. As termites feed and migrate, they leave behind thin tunnels made from soil, wood, and termite saliva that connect their colonies in the soil underground to their above-ground food sources (your home and property). These termite tubes are usually the most obvious sign of termite infestation noticed first by homeowners. Unfortunately, by the time these tubes are discovered, the damage is already likely to be significant.
6 Signs You May Need A Termite Control Professional
Hollow Sounding Wood — As termites tunnel through wood, they typically leave a “wall” behind. They usually feed on wood by eating it from the inside out to help protect themselves from the outside environment. This means that, over time, the damaged wood may eventually be nothing more than a hollow shell. Sometimes the termites feed on wood that’s been painted over and you may be left with just the outermost layer of paint itself!
If you suspect termites, gently tap or knock on the wood in those areas. If you hear a hollow sound or the wood feels thin, like paper, you may need a termite control professional. The wood may feel or sound different because it’s been eaten away from the inside out.
Mud Tubes — For all the destruction they cause, termites are actually quite fragile creatures and need a moist environment to survive. This is where mud tubes come in. Termite mud tubes (also called mud tunnels) are relatively small, pencil-sized tunnels made by worker termites out of soil, wood, and saliva. They are most commonly used by subterranean termites, to protect them from dry environments and predators while traveling between their nest and food source.
If you see termite mud tubes or something that resembles them, it’s recommended that you contact a termite control professional immediately. Mud tubes are a major indicator that your home is under attack from a termite infestation. It’s important to treat this infestation before more extensive and costly damage is done to your home.
Swarms — Swarmers are a type of winged, flying termite and if you see them, it’s time to take action. Swarmers emerge from termite nests in large groups and when they’re flying around, they’re typically seeking mates, with the eventual goal of trying to establish new colonies.
You may see winged termites fly in swarms of thousands, flying at night or swarming soon after it rains during certain seasons. These swarms can even occur inside your home from termites emerging from an already established nest in or near your home. Regardless, if you see termites flying around, you should take action immediately. Call a pest control professional to get a clear identification and find out if the swarm has already taken root in your home.
Discarded Wings — When a swarm finds a new home, they will remove their wings. Piles of wings can sometimes be found around a home’s foundation, window sills, or on the floor. They can also accumulate inside of your home if termites have found their way inside first. Discarded wing piles are often a pretty clear sign that a termite colony is in its startup stage.
If you see a pile of what looks like wings, reach out to a termite control professional, like Go2-Pros, for a free inspection. A quick detection can allow you to catch the termite colony before it causes serious damage.
Frass — This is the powdery excreta left by all wood-boring insects. More colloquially speaking, frass can simply mean termite poop. They push it out of holes in your walls to prevent the excrement from creating blockages inside of their colonies as they infest deeper into your home. Over time, the termite frass that is pushed out of these exit holes will start to build up into what look like small piles of sawdust. If you notice these piles, check above them for a small hole or a spot that looks like mud has built up that can be wiped away with a damp paper towel to reveal the exit hole.
Finding frass and the exit holes above the piles are clear indications of a termite problem that needs to be addressed right away. Call Go2-Pros pest control to schedule a free inspection to learn whether or not the frass is from termites or a different wood-boring insect.
Cracks — As the wood around your home becomes weaker due to termite damage, you may discover cracks along your walls or ceilings. This is especially common in older homes. Knock on the areas of wall or ceiling around the cracks to check for hollowness or a difference in pliability. Another sign is if your floors feel soft or elastic. Check around your home for any other signs of termites, such as frass, wing piles, and mud tubes.
To talk more about the signs of a termite infestation or if you’d like to schedule an appointment or request identification to see if it’s actually termites you’re dealing with, please contact Go2-Pros extermination. Our pest control professionals are here to answer your questions and help you protect your home.