Experts classify not one, not two, but 28 termite species as invasive. Worse, they cause considerable economic damages: an estimated $40 billion each year.
For that reason, it’s imperative you know the signs of a termite infestation. That way, you can remove them before they cause more damage and eat away at your home.
With all that said, we created this guide listing the top signs you have termites at home. So, please keep reading to learn what they are (and tips on how to prevent and get rid of termites).
Mud Tubes or Tunnels
Termites require a continuous supply of continuous moisture; otherwise, their bodies will desiccate. Indeed, studies show that desiccation is one of the primary reasons for termite death.
That’s also why termites create mud tubes to protect themselves from open air. They make these pathways with soil and wood mixed with their saliva. They then go around searching for food through these tunnels connected to their nest.
Termite mud tubes look like dirt or soil packed into cracks and crevices. They’re thin and narrow, measuring about a quarter of an inch to an inch in diameter. Some may look embossed on a surface, while others may appear flat.
Since the tunnels connect to termite nests, you may see them along exterior walls or siding. You may also find them in crawlspaces, foundation cracks, or the inside of baseboards.
If you find any of those tunnels, take that as a sign of a termite problem and call a pest control company right away. In the meantime, the folks at Reynolds Pest Control recommend addressing indoor moisture. Doing so can make it easier to desiccate existing pests and prevent new infestations.
Flying or Swarming Termites
Alates, the term for swarming termites, are the reproductive members of a colony. Their sole purpose is to increase their population by finding a partner and mating. Lights attract them, so you can often find them congregating near light bulbs and windows.
Call a termite removal expert if and right after you see those swarmers. That’s because the presence of alates usually indicates long-term colony establishment. For example, experts say these winged termites only come out after three to five years.
Alates discard their wings once they land on a surface and pair with a mate. So, even if you don’t witness swarming itself, you may still find cues after, in the form of discarded wings. You may see these body parts on the ground below light bulbs or by the windows.
Small Punctures on Wallpaper or Drywall
Termites can leave tiny holes on the sections of wallpaper or drywall they’ve eaten. You may also find dirt inside the punctures, a sign that you have subterranean termites. By contrast, you may have drywood termites if the pits are empty.
Wood Chipping or Flaking
Over the years, termites can cause so much damage to wood that they can start to blister. From there, the materials can begin to chip or flake. Touching these compromised sections can make the wood crumble even further.
Get Rid of a Termite Infestation ASAP
Always remember that an active termite infestation can go undetected for many years. For that reason, you should be proactive in their detection and prevention.
One way to do that is to invest in regular professional termite inspections. In doing so, pest control experts can nip a potential infestation in the bud.
Are you ready for even more tips and tricks on home maintenance and improvement? Be sure to look around our site for other educational articles on these topics then!