Did you know the estimated value of termite damage in the US alone is said to be worth five billion dollars annually with some experts saying the value could be even higher than that?
These figures show how important it is to look out for any signs you have termites, pointing to signs of an infestation in your home and how to beat it. Keep reading below for any signs that you might have a termite infestation!
Different Types Of Termites
There are three different types of termites found in the world namely damp wood, dry wood, and subterranean termites. Termite presence can be hard to detect at first glance because they remain hidden within floors and walls. Each different type of termite causes its own kind of damage and each has different warning signs to look out for.
For example, the subterranean termite damage takes on the appearance of water damage, with buckling wood and bubbling paint. They also leave small holes in the wood which is a good indicator for this type of termite.
A damp wood termite makes their home in moderately to very damp wood. These termites are generally found outside where wood has been exposed to the elements and remains damp. This termite adds more damage to your home and weakens the structure much more than water damage alone.
Drywood termites eat through most of the wood in your home, leaving hollow and thin wood. Wood eaten against the grain is usually a telltale sign that this termite is around causing damage. If left for too long this termite will eat away most of the available wood and once again severely weaken the structure of your home.
Signs You Have Termites In Your Home
If you feel that you might have termites in your home, the following indicators are what you will have to look out for to confirm your suspicions. If any of these signs are present then it would be better to order a building and pest inspection team to come and handle the problem, rather than trying to get rid of it on your own.
1) Termite Droppings
One of the first signs you´ll see that termites are present is with termite droppings. Some termites leave their droppings in the wood so you won´t be able to see anything while others leave a thin gritty grey film on the surface of the damaged wood.
2) Swarmers And Wings
You may spot swarmers, winged adult termites that usually fly away together in big groups coming out in or near your home which is a big indicator that you have a problem.
Swarmers aren´t very good flyers though and sometimes discard their wings and crawl away. If you see a pile of wings together around the affected area, that is another indicator.
3) Hollow Sounding Timber
Termites consume wood from the inside out, which then leaves the inside of the wood hollow. Softly knock the wood on the affected area with your finger and if a hollow sound appears, then it could be termites.
Sometimes if the wood is completely hollow, you can push your finger through or accidentally make a hole in a skirting board then you know you have an infestation.
4) Clicking Sounds
Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood and shake their bodies when the colony is disturbed to signal dangers to the other termites and create a clicking noise from the walls.
The worker termites, the ones who eat the wood and cause damage, are noisy eaters and if you put your ear close to any wood infected by them, you can hear them munching away.
5) Bubbling Paint
Do you notice any paint that is bubbling near the bottom of a wall or anywhere on the wall? This could be a sign that termites are there as they eat their way from the inside of the wood, the paint will bubble up and peel away easily from the wood.
6) Tunneling In Wood
Tunneling, also known as galleries is difficult to be seen from the outside of the wood but if a strip of wood is loose it can be removed to clarify if there is any tunneling going on in or around the house. This is a sure indicator that termites are near.
7) Tight Fitting Doors
Often related to damp wood and hot weather, if any of your doors are a battle to open and close, it could mean the presence of termites. The moisture produced from termites can cause the wood to warp and make it tough to open or close.
8) White Ants
A common mistake with people is confusing white ants with termites. This misconception is caused by ants and termites looking very similar and having the same genetic makeup.
The important thing to note is that there is no such thing as a white ant. If you have spotted an insect in or around your house that looks like a white ant then it is a clear sign you have termites around.
What To Do If Your Home Is Damaged
The first positive sign is that termite damage takes a long time to happen and there are clear signs you have an infestation so you should pick up where the infestation is quickly and have less damage on your hands.
Call a professional as termite extermination is complicated and requires a far a bit of machinery. Usually, your whole house will have to get treated as the termites will move to another spot if it´s not done.
Remember bugs are doing what they are meant to be doing and if you’re picking up signs you have termites, it is best not to panic and look up a professional company that will handle the entire process for you.
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