Too often, termites infest and cause thousands of dollars in structural damage to a home before homeowners ever notice any signs of their presence. Unfortunately, when it comes to termites, just because you don’t see the signs, it doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Safeguarding your home before signs of termites become apparent is one of the best things you can do to save money and keep your home safe from these damaging bugs. If you discover any of the following five signs in your home, the sooner you can have pest control inspect your home, the better:
1. Blisters in wood
Darker areas of wood or blisters in wood flooring can suggest that termites are feeding within or below. Subterranean termites, which are known for living several feet below the ground, can make wood flooring appear as though it has water damage. If you notice questionable dark spots or areas that look like water damage, you should contact pest control to inspect the wood.
2. Hollowed or damaged wood
Wood that termites have hollowed typically has a honeycomb appearance in the interior and a hollow sound when you knock on it. When a swarm of termites chews through the wood in search of cellulose, they leave long grooves behind in the wood. Over time, the grooves weaken the wood and result in severe structural damage.
3. Evidence of swarms
When termites move out of their nest to mate and find a new location for their colony, they will discard their wings near home-access points such as closed windows and doors. If you notice a small pile of wings near an entryway, termites have likely settled into your home. You may also find several black or brown dead termites near the wings.
4. Mud tubes
Mud tubes – usually the width of a straw – are generally found where the ground meets your house and serve to connect termites to their food source. Termites require specific temperatures and moisture levels to survive in their environment. Their mud tubes work to block out cold, dry air to turn your home into an area where they can thrive.
5. Termite droppings
Termite excrement resembles mounds of sawdust or coffee grounds. When they are chewing and tunneling their way through the wood, they create holes where they can push their excrement out of the tunnels. Any small piles of excrement pellets likely indicate the presence of termites in your home.