Signs of Termite Damage

Signs of Termite Activity

Termites can nest in homes and break down the structural integrity of a building. Termites operate behind the scenes, so it may not always be obvious that you have a termite problem until it grows out of control. If you are aware of the signs of termite damage, you may be able to stop the destruction before it gets too bad.

Identifying a Termite Swarm

A termite swarm is an indication that termites are in the area, but not necessarily a threat to your home. You may not see the swarm as it happens, but there are several signs that termites have recently moved through your neighborhood.

  • Once a termite nest grows to capacity, and the weather is right, termites will swarm when exiting a nest in search of a new home.
  • Termite swarms typically occur during daylight hours, during late summer or early fall, usually after a rain to help with nest building.
  • If you don’t actually see the swarm, finding discarded termite wings are a sign one recently happened in the area.
  • Dead or alive termites
    • One of the most obvious signs is finding termites on your property or in your home. Termites bare a slight resemblance to ants, at least in size.
    • Termites feature straight antennae and a uniform body with a wide waist, while ants have bent antennae and sectioned bodies.

Signs of Termite Activity in Your Home

  • Clicking sounds or chewing noises
    • Termites are very sensitive insects and live in a tight knit community. Termites will bang their heads to signal potential danger to the colony.
    • As termites eat through wood and other material, their chewing can be heard by the human ear.
    • Light clicking or chewing noises coming from the walls is a sign that a termite colony has taken hold in your home.
  • Flying termites or discarded wings
    • Male and female termites will leave the nest to mate and establish a new nest.
    • If you notice flying termites or find discarded wings, termites may be establishing that nest at your home.
  • Mud tubes
    • There are several types of mud tubes that termites build, either for working, exploring, or exiting the colony.
    • Finding active mud tubes (also referred to as galleries, or tunnels) is a sure sign of termite activity.
  • Droppings (frass)
    • Termites feed on wood, and in turn they digest the wood and produce frass, or termite droppings.
    • As termites drop feces, they push it out of the mud tunnels, resulting in piles of frass that can resemble sawdust typically ranging from light to dark brown in color.

Signs of Termite Damage in Your Home

  • Hard to open windows and doors
    • Termites build up moisture within their tunnels to sustain themselves.
    • Moisture will build up and warp wood, causing windows or doors to tighten.
  • Buckling/swollen wood floors, ceilings, or drywall
    • As termites build out their mud tubes, the stored moisture and resulting wood warp can be significant enough to cause buckling in wood floors and drywall.
    • Similar to a bulging floor, drywall, windows, or doors, termite mud tubes can cause paint to bubble due to excess moisture.
  • Exposed wood damage (fallen trees)
    • You can examine exposed wood from around your property, such as fallen trees, to see if there is a potential termite colony near your home.
    • Hollowed out wood, mud tunnels, discarded wings, bodies, or frass can all be signs of a termite infestation.
      • As termites eat away at drywood, they digest and push their droppings out of the colony.
      • This leaves plenty of open space within the wood, and a hollow sound if you check by knocking.

Getting Rid of Termites

Once you identify the presense of termites or how much damage they may have caused, your first step needs to be to get rid of the current termite problem. A professional pest control company specializing in termite treatment is the most effective way to put an end to your termite problem. This ensures that when termite damage repairs are done, a reinfestation does not occur leading to further problems.

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