While some insects prefer to leave you and your home alone, other insects will happily take over – and even damage – your house. A termite is a type of insect that travels in large swarms, feasting on the cellulose that’s your home’s wood structure. They don’t love the light, so they’ll usually hide in dark spaces, like inside your walls, without giving you much of a chance to catch a glimpse of them.
Almost any home can give termites the perfect meal, but they do tend to prefer decaying wood and plant material, which is why old homes are more commonly invaded. There are different types of termites, too; some of them like damp conditions, while others can thrive in dry conditions.
Common Signs of Termites in the Home
How do you know if you might have termites? Here are a few things to look for in your home that can signal a possible termite invasion:
If you have any exposed or broken pieces of wood inside or outside your home, you can take a quick look at it. If termites are present, you might see tiny tunnels, known as termite tubes, through the wood beam. It might look like a small hole from the end, but there will probably be several of them. These tubes are what protects termite swarms as they work and search for food.
Severe infestations may lead to you finding piles of termite droppings near woodwork in your house. Their droppings are known as frass and are essentially tiny wood shavings mixed with termite feces that resemble brown sawdust.
It’s possible to hear termites gobbling up some tasty wood if you listen carefully to your walls. If you hear noise in your walls when it’s quiet, listen a little closer. You might hear termites chomping or banging against the wood, which is what they do to warn the rest of the swarm when they sense danger.
Tight-Fitting Windows and Doors
Once termites have made enough holes through your wood, you might notice that doors and windows don’t open or shut as easily as they once did. That’s because those holes allow moisture to enter and warp the wood that surrounds them.
Signs of Termites Around the Home
You might also spot swarms of termites outside your home. It’s essential to conduct regular checks of your yard to prevent a colony’s possible move from your yard to your house.
Termites might start eating away old trees before they find their way to your house. Termites make small holes in trees, much like they do in wooden boards in a home. Search around the bases and trunks of your trees to spot their tunnels, droppings, and even clusters of eggs, which are very small and white. With extreme infestations, you’ll be able to detect swarms of termites surrounding a tree.
Termites can also nest in your yard, especially if your soil is extremely dry. Their mounds usually mimic those that ants make but may have a larger opening. Watch the opening for several minutes to see if termites appear; they’ll be almost white in color and larger than an ant.
The Difference Between Rot and Termites
Signs of rot in your home can look similar to termite damage, but they’re two very different issues that require different treatments. Wood with dry rot will have tunnels caused by fungi transporting water to other parts of the wood. However, tunnels from wood rot can affect the outside of wood as much as the inside, while wood damaged from termites may appear normal on the outside and have more clearly defined tubes and crevices on the inside.
It’s possible to have both problems exist at the same time, which can make it even more challenging for homeowners to spot the difference.
Identifying and controlling termites is possible with the help of pest control experts who are specially trained to handle the job. It’s important to contact a professional quickly to get them to your home to assess the problem and start taking care of it immediately. At Budget Pest Control, we’re available 24/7 to answer your questions and take care of your pest problem.