There are so many aspects to home maintenance, pest control is often overlooked until a problem becomes evident. This can be especially true when it comes to termite infestation. Much of the destruction termites cause goes on behind the scenes and doesn’t become obvious until it begins to significantly impact the integrity of your home.
It is estimated that these destructive insects are responsible for $5 billion dollars in property damage each year. While it is recommended that you have your home professionally inspected for termites, you should also periodically conduct your own inspections. This could help you uncover evidence of termites and have them exterminated before they have the opportunity to cause serious damage to your home. If you notice any of these common signs of termites, it’s time to call in the professionals.
What’s That Noise?
While they may not be as loud as your neighbor’s dog or your teenager’s music, termites can be noisy insects. The worker termites do most of the damage by eating away at the wood in your home and they are not quiet eaters. When you put your ear near a piece of termite infested wood you will actually be able to hear them gnawing away. If your home has been infested, you may also hear a soft clicking noise coming from your walls. If a soldier termite senses danger or a disturbance in the colony, they bang their head against the wood or shake their body to warn the rest of the colony.
Doors or Windows Sticking
Doors and windows that are tough to open and close are often the result of humidity, but it can also be a sign that you have termites. When they are eating their way through your window and door frames, termites produce moisture. This moisture can cause the wood frames to warp and your doors and windows to stick.
Knock on Wood
So how can you tell if it’s termites or humidity? Drywood termites typically eat wood from the inside out, leaving just a thin outside layer. If this is the case, with your window or door frames, they will make a hollow sound when you knock on them. If the damage is severe, the wood may feel papery or even give way when you press on it. The termites begin by tunneling into the wood. Spotting these tunnels inside your home may be all but impossible. However, if you notice tunnels or any loose wood in or around your home, it’s probably a sign of termites.
Termites are often mistaken for white ants. However, there is no such thing as a white ant. This is understandable, as termites and ants are similar in shape, size and may even exhibit similar behavior. Termites are typically a creamy white color and can be almost translucent. Their antennae are completely straight and their midsection is much wider than that of an ant’s. Flying ants have two sets of wings, just like a termite but one set is larger than the other. Both sets of a termite’s wing are the same size. When conducting your inspection, if you discover a light colored insect that looks like an ant, you probably have termites.
These are known as frass and are a key sign of termites, especially drywood termites. Unlike subterranean termites who use frass to build their tunnels, drywood termites push it out through small holes located close to the entrance of their nest. This will leave small black marks and a dark powdery substance around the infestation area.
Mud Tubes and Swarms
Mud tubes are usually found on the basement or exterior walls. They are commonly built by subterranean termites for protection. These are a more obvious indication of termites which can easily be spotted with the naked eye. Another obvious sign of termite infestation is swarming. Termites swarm in warmer weather, often in the spring. The purpose of a swarm is to start a new colony either because the existing colony is overcrowded or there is a lack of sufficient food. If you see a swarm, this means the existing colony has been there for quite a while and there may already be significant damage.
Professional Inspection for Termites
If you see any of these signs or aren’t confident in identifying them, you should schedule a termite inspection. An inspection is also a good idea if any of your neighbors have experienced termite issues.
When you have a termite or pest problem, you want to be certain that you are dealing with a professional, knowledgeable and experienced company. When you call Amco Pest Solutions you can feel confident knowing that for over sixty-five years, home and business owners in New York and New Jersey have trusted us to protect their health, reputation, and biggest investment.
Our technicians and staff meet and exceed the recommendation of the Quality Pro and National Pest Management Association standards. We will provide you with a free estimate, professional service and the highest level of customer satisfaction. Contact us today for all your residential and commercial pest control solutions at 888-593-4948!