The biggest problem with termites is that you may not realize you’ve got an infestation until the damage is well underway. From strange noises to unexplained structures in your home, we’ll show you seven signs to watch out for so you can stop a termite infestation before it gets out of control.
What Do Termites Look Like
Depending on their role in the colony and their age, termites can look very different. Generally, you’ll want to look for insects that look like white ants with tan-colored heads. During certain seasons, termites will grow wings to seek out new territory. As such, they often get mistaken for flying ants. There’s a quick way to tell the difference: look at the wing to body ratio. Flying ants have two sets of wings, and one will be bigger than the other. And the wingspan compared to the length of the ant will be closer. On the other hand, termites have two sets of wings with equal wingspans, and these wings will appear much longer than the insect’s body length.
Types Of Termites
Subterranean termites prefer environments with lots of moisture. Therefore, you’re most likely to find them living underground or in dead trees. However, if the conditions above ground are desirable, they have no qualms about building nests – including in your home. They use mud tubes to protect the colony members as they travel above ground and search for food. Damp, leaky attics and basement foundations with cracks are common entryways for these types of termites.
Drywood termites can invade both hard and softwoods. They are the most common type found in the states and can live in any wooden structure of your home, causing substantial damage to the building’s integrity.
How To Tell If You Have Termites
There are many ways to tell if you have termites in your house. Here are seven of the most common symptoms.
Damaged To Wooden Areas
This is usually what people think of when they think of termites. Termites eat wood fibers, so one of the most obvious signs of their presence is damaged wood. The trail they leave behind will look like long narrow tubes.
You Can See A Termite Tube
These structures will often appear on the corners and walls of your house. The texture looks similar to that of damp sand you might use to build a sandcastle at the beach. If you spot a termite tube, do not hesitate to call termite control services. By the time you’ve spotted the tube, the infestation is already very advanced.
You See Termites Swarming Or Discarded Wings
As mentioned above, termites will send out scouts or “swarmers” to look for a new territory for a colony. If you notice a swarm of flying insects in your home, take a closer look and see if they’re ants or termites. Also, once these scouts have found what they’re looking for, they’ll discard their wings. If you notice many wings without insects attached, chances are it’s time to call termite control.
Your Walls Sound Hollow
If you knock on your walls or door, and it sounds hollow, you could have termite damage. The bugs devour the wood from the inside out, and as they carve out their tunnels, you’ll notice a distinct change in how sound travels through these surfaces. If the damage is pervasive, you may even notice the wood crumbles with little pressure applied.
You Hear Strange Noises
Believe it or not, if you listen closely, you can actually hear termites chowing down on wood! If you suspect you have termites, gently place your ear against the surface of your wall or door. If you can hear a clicking sound, it’s a good indicator you’ve got termites.
Termite “frass” is industry talk for termite poop. It looks like a pile of sawdust or birdseed. These frass piles are also very close to the “kick-out hole,” where worker termites remove the waste from the wall and drop it on the ground. Your first reaction upon finding a pile of termite droppings may be to clean it up. However, it’s best to leave it until an exterminator inspects your property. These piles make it easy to locate the kick-out hole, and if they can locate the kick-out hole, they can get to the heart of the colony for a faster extermination.
How To Get Rid Of Termites
In short: call the professionals. These creatures are tricksy, and eradicating them can be difficult and requires the use of chemicals. It’s really best to rely on the expertise of trained and licensed technicians.
Get Professional Termite Control In Florida
Hire the experts at Advantage Green Lawn! Our licensed techs are well-versed in identifying and treating all types of termites. Our termite control program will kill existing infestations and prevent future ones. If you suspect you’ve got termites, don’t wait! Call (352) 480-0702 or contact us online today before your home is heavily damaged! Curious about other pest control and lawn care topics? Be sure to visit our monthly blog page and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest!