How Do You Know if You Have Termites

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Termites, the silent destroyers, can wreak havoc on your property if left undetected. But how do you know if you have these pesky pests? Well, fear not, for there are telltale signs that can help you uncover their presence.

From stuck windows or doors to damage lurking beneath paint or wallpaper, these subtle hints can be indicators of a termite infestation. But that's not all.

Stay tuned as we delve into the world of flying swarmers, shelter tubes, and the importance of professional termite inspection and removal. So, if you've ever wondered how to identify these elusive creatures, keep reading to uncover the secrets that lie within your walls.

Flying Swarmers

insect infested summer afternoon

Flying swarmers, also known as winged termites, are a group of male and female termites that emerge in large numbers from their nests during specific times of the year. These flying termites are searching for a mate and are attracted to light sources, with some species swarming at night.

After taking flight, they shed their wings, leaving behind discarded wings as a visible sign of a termite infestation. It is important to be vigilant for these signs, as termites can cause significant damage to homes. Blistering or hollow-sounding wood may indicate termite activity, as termites consume wood from the inside out.

Additionally, the presence of mud tubes, which are easily visible near the foundation of a home, is the most common sign of subterranean termite activity. By recognizing these signs and taking prompt action, homeowners can mitigate the potential damage caused by termite infestations.

Damaged Wood

During their search for a mate, winged termites, also known as flying swarmers, may leave behind blistered or hollow-sounding wood as a visible sign of potential termite activity. Identifying termite damage in wood is crucial for early intervention and prevention of further structural damage. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Stuck windows or doors: Termites often target exposed wood in frames, causing them to become difficult to open or close.
  • Wood damage under paint or wallpaper: Bubbling or peeling of paint or wallpaper could indicate hidden termite activity.
  • Sagging floors or ceilings: Structural problems resulting from termite damage can cause floors or ceilings to sag.
  • Probing or tapping wood: Hollow sounds when tapping or visually inspecting tunnels filled with dried dirt are indicative of termite damage.
  • Mud tubes and exit holes: These are often found in wood and serve as pathways or exit points for termites.

Being aware of these warning signs can help homeowners detect termite activity early on and seek professional assistance to mitigate any potential damage.

Shelter Tubes

termite protection using tubes

Shelter tubes, also known as mud tubes, are constructed by termites using a combination of dirt, wood particles, saliva, and other liquids, serving as a vital means of transportation between their nests and food sources while preventing dehydration.

These tubes, typically about the width of a pencil and with a brown color, are commonly found on foundation walls, crawl space piers, attics, and floor joists. Scraping off a piece of the mud tube can help determine if an active termite colony is present, making it an important indicator of termite infestation.

Professional pest control experts possess extensive knowledge about termite biology, habits, and building methods and can help homeowners identify and eliminate termite shelter tubes. While homeowners can conduct some tests themselves, such as inspecting for the presence of shelter tubes, they may benefit from professional assistance, including free termite inspections offered by pest control companies like Orkin.

Termite Inspection & Removal

A thorough and accurate termite inspection is crucial for detecting and assessing termite activity, ensuring effective removal and control measures. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Signs of termites: Stuck windows or doors, damage under paint or wallpaper, termite swarmers, discarded wings, and mud tubes along the side of your home are early indicators of a termite problem.
  • Termite damage: Sagging floors, ceilings, and blistered wood flooring are clear signs of termite damage.
  • Termite activity: Shelter tubes made of dirt, wood particles, and saliva are used by termites for movement and are a definite indicator of termite activity.
  • Professional expertise: It is recommended to seek the assistance of professional pest control experts who possess the knowledge, tools, and expertise to conduct thorough termite inspections.
  • Effective termite control: Professional experts can provide effective termite removal and control solutions to eliminate termite colonies and prevent further damage.

Dig Deeper on Termites

termites investigate their behavior

To gain a deeper understanding of termites, it is essential to explore their various types and behaviors.

Termites are small, social insects that live in colonies and feed on cellulose-based materials such as wood.

There are two main types of termites that commonly infest homes: drywood termites and subterranean termites.

Drywood termites live and feed inside the wood, while subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel between their nest and food source.

Signs of termite damage include stuck windows or doors, damage under paint or wallpaper, and termite holes.

Another indication of termite activity is the presence of termite swarmers and discarded wings.

Additionally, termite droppings, also known as frass, can be found near infested areas.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.