Termites can be devastating to a home, chewing through your walls and any other wood that they can find. Every homeowner should be aware of how to spot potential trouble. Here are some tips to help you identify if your house has a termite problem. If it becomes clear that there is an issue, contact a local termite exterminator immediately.
Make Sure It's Termites and Not Something Else
One of the most common problems with termite identification is confusing them with a different type of insect or pest. Termites in particular are often confused with winged ants. If you can get a close look at one, look for a broad waist, wings that look to be equal in size and a straight antennae. If the insect matches that description, it's likely a termite.
If you can't get a good look at the termites directly, there are still other ways to identify that you have a termite problem. When termites eat away wood, they will leave behind hollow tubes. A tell-tale sign that it's termites and not another type of insect is if the hollow tube is lined with mud. If it's another insect and not termites, you'll probably just see sawdust instead. When checking a woodpile outside, don't just look at the surface of the logs. Termites very rarely do a ton of surface damage, preferring to go in from underneath or from the side.
Other Warning Signs
If you can't find the exact spot where the termites ate through the wood, you can still look for other warning signs. Check the corners of your house and windowsill for piles of small, discarded wings. Termite swarmers shed their initial pair of wings shortly before they take flight. Termites also love building mud tubes. These tubes help the termites travel from your home back to their home base or colony. The tubes are often made up of wood, debris and soil. Check around your home's foundation and throughout your basement for this warning sign. You should also keep an eye out for small piles of what might look like gray sawdust. This substance is actually frass or fecal matter created by the termites.
Educate yourself on the potential warning signs of termite infestation and you will be able to respond quickly if a termite problem ever does occur. Hollowed out tubes, piles of discarded wings and mud tubes around your house's foundation are just some of the potential warning signs of termites. Contact a termite exterminator today if you suspect a problem. For more info on termites, check out the rest of this blog.