Termites can do serious damage to your home. Repairing termite damage becomes expensive if it goes unchecked. The earlier you discover the problem, the higher chance you have of eliminating these pests before they destroy too much. It is wise to check your home for signs of termites.
Look for These Signs of Termites
There are several kinds of termites. Some of the most destructive termites make their colonies under the ground and use your home as a food source. These termites construct tunnels made of mud that shelter them as they travel up your foundation to the wooden portion of your home. Mud tubes are one of the most common signs of termites. If you notice mud tubes on the outside of your foundation, it is time to call a professional.
Swarmers and White Ants
In the spring, termites emerge to mate and start new colonies. For a short period, there will be termites with wings searching for a new location. Once they find an appropriate place, others will swarm to it. The wings fall off when the termites settle. You may see swarming insects or notice a pile of discarded wings at an entry point.
Termites prefer to stay hidden in the dark, so it is rare to spot them. However, if there is a loose piece of wood in or around your home, you may see insects that look like white ants when you flip it over. The termites will quickly retreat when exposed to light.
Piles of Frass
Frass is the term for termite excrement. It looks like tiny wood shavings. Frass appears as piles of small pellets near the entry points to their tunnels. Whether the piles are found inside or outside, they are signs of termites in a house.
Chewing and Clicking Sounds
Termites often attack the wood that is hidden behind drywall. While it is rare to see them at work, it is possible to hear them if you listen carefully. A group of termites can be heard when the house is very quiet.
Another more audible sound is the warning sound that termites make when disturbed or threatened. They will knock their heads against the wood to send vibrations to the rest of the colony. This sound is amplified by the hollow spaces behind the drywall and may sound like a faint clicking.
Hollow Wood: One of the Worst Signs of Termites in a House
Termites attack your home from the inside out, creating tunnels that weaken the wood. On painted wood, you may see bubbling from tunnels on the other side. Wood surfaces may sound hollow when you knock on them. In advanced stages, a small amount of pressure will cause the wood to collapse.
In the worst-case scenario, termites create hazardous structural issues if the wood is loadbearing. Hollow-sounding wood means the damage is well underway. These signs of termites should not be ignored.