Termites can cause considerable damage to homes and buildings. While there are many signs of termites that can be present in your home, they can be very hard to spot. This is because termites are adept at keeping hidden. Some of the signs of termites present in your home are swarms, mud tubes, wood damage, termite feces, and discolored areas on wood. Should you see any of these signs, you should contact a professional exterminator immediately.
It is a good idea to check your home for signs of termites about once a month, especially if you are in an area that is susceptible to termites. Usually, it is the older homes—homes 10 years or older—that tend to attract termites. However, new homes built near a termite colony can incur termite damage. It is necessary to look closely for any signs of termites. This is because termites are susceptible to the environment and predators and thus like to stay hidden.
If you see a swarm of winged insects, this may be one sign that termites are present in or around your home. Swarms usually happen in the spring after a rain shower. These swarms are typically made up of winged termites that are flying off to find a new location to colonize. In some cases, the only evidence you may find of a swarm are discarded wings. Therefore, be sure to check around window sills, doors, vents, bathtubs, and sinks for them.
A mud tube is a tube made out of dirt that termites build to move from the soil to a food source. Since your house may be that food source, mud tubes can be one more of the signs of termites. Mud tubes are about the same size in diameter as a pencil. Termites will often build their mud tubes against a surface or as free standing structures. They can often be found in basements, crawl spaces, or on the exterior or your home.
Another of the signs of termites is wood damage. Damage to wood can be hard to spot. Therefore, if you hear hollow-sounding studs, baseboards, or floor, try breaking them open. It should be noted that this procedure may be best left to a professional. Since termites eat following the grain of wood, a honeycomb pattern may be a sign that termites have been at your wood. You may also find a bulge in the wall which is a sign of an above ground nest.
Should you see dark areas in your wood floors or areas that are blistered, you may have found another of the signs of termites. In addition, if you knock on the wood and hear an answering tap, there is a good chance that termites are present. This is because soldiers will knock their heads against the wall to signal there is danger lurking. You should also check for termite feces that termites occasionally clean out their tunnels from “kick out holes.” If you see six-sided, oval-shaped pellets it may be one more of the signs of termites in your home.