Your home is your castle, so the last thing you want in it is termites. A termite infestation can wreak havoc and cause costly problems for homeowners.
If you don't have termite control in place and a termite colony moves into your area, you are at risk of thousands of dollars of damage to your house.
But how do you know if you have a problem with termites? Let's explore the common signs of termite damage, how to tell if you have a termite infestation, and what you can do to get rid of the termites.
Common Signs of Termite Damage
Although there are several termite species, they all have things in common. Termites live in colonies, love eating wood, and can cause significant damage to buildings! Termites are one of the most frustrating invasive species.
The pests establish colonies underground where termite queens live, and worker termites travel through the soil to the surface to find food sources like dead plants and wood above ground.
Unfortunately, their feeding habits can cause problems for homeowners as they tend to chew through anything made from wood! Here are some signs that you have a termite infestation:
1. Windows or Doors are Stuck
One of the earliest indications of a termite problem is when windows or doors suddenly become more challenging to open and close. The pests target window and doorframes because they are easy to access.
As the termites eat through the wood, the frames start warping, making it difficult to open and close. Soon you'll need professional help to get rid of the pests, and keep them out of your home!
Termites Can Damage Your Entire House!
Besides windows and doors, termites can also cause other structural issues in your home. Homeowners have to watch out for sagging ceilings and floors and crumbling baseboards. Keep an eye out for damaged wood!
2. There is Damage to Walls
Termites create tunnels with tiny exit holes, but this is not always visible through the paint or wallpaper on walls. If you start noticing damage to walls or wallpaper, even slight, it could be a sign of termites.
It's not always easy to see termite damage on walls, so you're more likely to notice it during home renovations when your focus is on the paint or wallpaper. However, take a closer look if you see an unusual appearance on walls.
How to Determine if Your Walls Are Damaged
Here are five signs to look out for:
Narrow, sunken winding lines
Not all of this means you have termites! But it would be best to call in professionals to make sure your home is free of pests. If you know that you have a problem, you'll have the opportunity to do something about the situation before the termite damage gets out of control.
3. Discarded Wings and Swarmers
If you see termite wings or swarmers in your house, it's almost always a sign of a nest nearby. Termite swarmers are the reproductive members of a termite colony. Also known as alates, swarmers have large, pale wings of up to 1/2 an inch long.
After the swarmer leaves the nest and finds a mate, it sheds its wings. You'll notice the discarded wings near windows and in entrances.
Don't Confuse Swarmers With Flying Ants!
It's easy to confuse the two; they look a lot alike! The main differences are that termite swarmers have two evenly-sized wings and straight bodies, whereby flying ants have two unevenly-sized wings and pinched waists.
4. Mud Tubes
Walk around your home and look for mud tubes along the side of it. The tubes will look like veins running from the ground up to areas where there is exposed wood, like window panes. Termites use these mud tubes to protect themselves from dry air.
Subterranean termites tend to dry out quickly because they have thin exoskeletons and the tubes allow them to travel safely between their habitats and food source. If you see mud tubes along the side of your walls, chances are you have a termite problem.
Do Mud Tubes ALWAYS Mean There Are Termites?
To make sure you have termites, break a piece of the mud tube off and check inside if you see any live pests. If you don't see termites inside, go back later to see if they've repaired the tube.
Even if you don't see live termites and the tube is not repaired, you may still have termite problems. Termite colonies tend to move around to find areas with better access to their food source, so they could still be nearby!
5. Check for Termite Droppings
Also called "frass," termite droppings are another sign of termites in your home. As it eats through wood, the termite begins to digest it so they can push it out of the colony.
Frass is Not Always Visible
Since only drywood termites produce droppings visible to people, you won't always notice them. Drywood termites are relatively common in Florida, so it's essential to watch out for this. These termites produce frass that looks like wood dust or shavings, so it's easy to identify.
10 Termite Prevention Tips
Whether you live in the city or the countryside, you can find termites everywhere!
The different species include subterranean termites, dampwood termites, and drywood termites.
You could take action to prevent termites from invading your home and causing damage. Here are some tips for termite control:
Termites need moisture to thrive, so eliminate this around your home.
Repair anything that contributes to moisture like leaking faucets, exterior AC units, or water pipes.
Divert water away from the home through gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks.
Repair any rotten roof shingles, soffits, and fascia.
Replace loose mortar around the basement and window panes.
Regularly inspect your home for signs of termites, as mentioned above.
Most termites feed on dead wood, so keep a close watch on window frames, doorframes, and skirting boards around the home.
Make sure you have at least an 18-inch gap between soil and anything made of wood in your home.
Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home.
It is also an excellent idea to schedule a professional inspection every year. Most homeowners insurance policies don't cover damage caused by wood-boring insects like termites.
Although you can try these tips to prevent these invasive species from infesting your home, you will need a licensed pest professional for termite control if you have an infestation.
Why Termite Control is Important
Termites live their lives searching for food sources like plant matter and wood. All termite species have powerful jaws and can eat through wooden structures, and even trees with their large mandibles!
A termite colony can significantly damage your home, so it's important to protect it from these pests.
If you need help with a termite infestation, Southeast Florida Pest Control is an excellent choice.
We make light work of termite control by using the Sentricon System to get rid of the pests for good. The system uses termite workers to take poisonous bait into the colony, where it ends the life cycle of the insects. It is one of the top ways to ensure long-term termite control.
With the Sentricon System, we can eradicate the entire colony of termites without spraying or digging, and it prevents future infestations from happening.
Talk to Southeast Florida Pest Control today to protect your home from termites.