Termites aren’t as disgusting as roaches or as creepy as spiders, but the damage they cause to our homes, furniture, and possessions is nerve-wracking. If you think you’ve got a termite infestation on your hands, today’s blog will teach you how to recognize telltale signs that termites are lurking.
What Do Termites Look Like
Often mistaken for flying ants, the subterranean termite is about 1/8″ long and creamy-white in color, though the heads tend to be brownish-black. Like most insects, they have six legs and antennae. Like ant colonies, termites are assigned different roles.
- Soldiers – These termites will fight to the death to defend the colony with their enormous jaws.
- Workers – These guys build the colony and do all the heavy lifting. They typically are slightly larger – about 1/4″ long.
- Swarmers – While most termites don’t have wings, the swarmers have them to seek out new territory. They are the largest of the termites at about 1/2″ in length.
Signs Of Termites In Your Home
Termites dine on wood fibers, creating elongated chambers and hollowing out wooden structures. If wooden structures or furniture look like they’ve been repeatedly drilled into, it could be termite activity.
Subterranean termites use mud to build protective tunnels to travel safely around the colony undisturbed by predators. You may notice these tunnels protruding from the corners or walls of your home. At first glance, it might look like damp sand. If you spot a termite tube, we really can’t exaggerate how important it is to call pest control immediately because the infestation is bad when tubes are visible.
Walls And Doors Sound Hollow
Because termites delve into wooden interiors, they hollow out the structures they eat. This changes the way sound travels through walls and doors. Gently tap on the wall, door, or other structure where you think termites have been and see if it sounds hollow. If the damage is extensive, you may even notice that the wood crumbles easily with just a bit of pressure applied.
Termites are noisy eaters. So if you place your ear against the area where you think they’re active, listen for a clicking or scratching sound coming from the walls. As gross as this is, that’s the sound of termites eating your walls!
When those swarmers are done scouting, they shed their wings, which are often left along the floors near walls.
This is the polite term for termite fecal matter. It’s similar in appearance to sawdust or scattered birdseed. You’ll most likely find it near the kick-out hole. This tiny hole is where the worker termites remove the grass and other discarded material and kick it out of the hole the same way humans would flush a toilet. If you see termite frass, even though your first instinct might be to clean it up, it’s better to leave it alone until the termite treatment personnel arrive. This kick-out hole is often near the main part of the colony, so by letting it sit, you’ll help the technician get to the bottom of things more quickly.
How To Prevent Termites In Your Home
The biggest way to prevent termites from meandering inside is by reducing the things that make your home seem appetizing.
- Never stack firewood near your home. If termites get into the logs, the temptation to check out your home is too great.
- Don’t let trees and shrub branches get so long that they touch your home. The termites will use this as a highway to find their way inside.
- Fix leaky pipes, remove debris from gutters, and do everything you can to keep moisture away from the foundation. Leaks provide a reliable source of drinking water.
- Don’t leave dead wood, rotted wood, old papers, cardboard boxes, or other fibrous materials in your yard.
- Don’t put off pest control! The sooner Cramer Pest Control gets on the scene, the less damage your home will experience.
Think You’ve Got Termites? Cramer Pest Control Can Help!
If you’ve got an active termite infestation in your home, do not hesitate to seek help. Cramer Pest Control’s termite control program will swiftly locate the source of the problem with our state-of-the-art technology. Plus, we not only kill the termites, but we’ll also assess your property for things that could be attracting them to the home, so you don’t have problems down the road. If you need help, call us at (704) 763-0204 for service in North Carolina or (803) 802-7540 for South Carolina. You can also send us a message online, and a staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.