Your home can incur many types of different damage. Today we address a pesky intruder and the telling signs your home has termite damage. Read below for more…
Termites are something that homeowners dread. They can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home before you even realize it. Around 600,000 homes a year are invaded by termites in the US, and they can get out of hand if you don’t spot the signs.
Now’s the time to inspect your home for termite damage, and see what you can do to stop them in their tracks. If you can find the signs now, before they start causing real trouble, you can save yourself a lot of repairs and costs down the line. Here’s what you should be looking out for.
1. Damage Under Paint And Wallpaper
For many homeowners, the first sign that they may have termites is when they strip the walls ready for renovation and find there’s damage underneath. This damage can look like small pinholes or dented and sunken areas on the wall.
This happens because termites are burrowing through the cardboard and wood that’s underneath the wall surface. They create tunnels which are referred to as termite galleries, and the pin holes are their exit holes.
It can be hard to see this damage as again, most of it is happening under the surface. However, there are some signs that you should look for. For example, are you seeing bubbling paint? Peeling or discolored wallpaper? Buckling wood? If these signs are there, you’ll want to look closer and see if termites have got comfortable in the walls.
2. Sticking Windows And Doors
Are you finding that your windows and doors are starting to stick when you try to open them? It’s irritating having to struggle with them when you need them open, but the bigger problem is that they can be a sign of termite infestation.
They love window and door frames, as they offer easy access to wood. When they start eating through it, this will lead to the wood warping, and that’s what makes them stick. You may see other wooden structures in your home suffer damage too, if termites have made themselves at home. For example, if your baseboards are crumbling or the floors are starting to sag, that’s a warning sign.
Of course, the damage may not have come from termites at all. Sticking windows and doors in particular can be caused by humidity causing the wood to swell, or the wood starting to rot. Make sure you’re looking for these issues, as well as termites. If you see tunnels with dried dirt in them, that’s a sign that termites are to blame.
3. Seeing Termite Swarmers And Discarded Wings
Depending on the time of year, you may actually see more evidence of termites in your home. Termites have different categories they belong to in their colonies, including soldiers, workers, and swarmers. Swarmers are the termites that go out and reproduce, and you may see them in your home. They’re typically spotted by their large wings, which are around ¼ to ½ an inch long.
Once a swarmer finds a mate, it will discard its wings. If you have termites in the house, you’ll start seeing these wings around where they’ve been dropped.
Some homeowners mistake these insects for flying ants, and that’s an easy mistake to make as they look so similar. However, you can tell if they’re termites as they will congregate around windows and doors. That’s because they’re attracted to light. You’ll also see they have straighter bodies than ants, and more evenly sized pairs of wings.
These swarmers won’t live very long, so you may see dead termite swarmers alongside discarded wings in your home. If you see any of these things, it’s a sure-fire sign you have termites.
4. Termite Droppings
Termite droppings are another thing you should be keeping an eye out for in your home. If you have termites, they’ll be eating through wood and digesting it. The droppings they will push out of their nests, so you may be able to spot them.
What the droppings look like will depend on the kind of termites you have. If there are dry wood termites, their droppings will look like wood dust or shavings, as it’s wood colored and pellet-shaped in nature. If you have subterranean termites, they won’t be leaving droppings, also known as ‘frass’, that you can see.
As such this isn’t a guaranteed way to spot termites, but it’s something you’ll still be wanting to keep an eye on.
5. Mud Tubes On Your Property
What you may not know about termites is that they have very thin exoskeletons, and so will dry out quickly. When they’re in areas with dry air, they’ll create mud tubes to protect themselves. These appear to be thin veins of dirt and mud that are running up the sides of your home.
If you see a mud tube in your home, break a piece off and see if you can find live termites inside. If you see them, then you know you have an infestation. If you don’t see any, leave it for a while and come back, to see if the tube is repaired. Even if it doesn’t get repaired, you won’t be in the clear yet. The termites may move on elsewhere in your home. As such, you’ll need to get help.
What To Do If You Find Termites
If you do see termites, or evidence of termites, on your property, you’ll need some help. The best thing to do is to get in touch with a pest control team, as they’ll be able to come to assess the issue and remove the termites safely. The sooner you call them the better, as you’ll be able to prevent further damage to your home and future improvements.
Wrapping Up Termite Damage
Look for these 5 signs of termites in your home, and you’ll be able to spot them before the damage becomes too severe. You don’t want to have to deal with big repair bills, so tackle the termites now before you have to repair the damage they cause.