The Signs Of Termites – Right across the States homes are at risk from termite infestation, no matter what the climate is like. They really don’t care who the property belongs to the worker termites only have one mission – to find a source of cellulose (found in wood) to feed on so that they can return to the termite nest and feed the rest of the family – which may consist of hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of termites!
Now, on the face of it this sounds like any other infestation of bugs – a bit of a pain. However the truth is these tiny bugs can completely destroy your home in a relatively short space of time and you could be completely unaware that it is happening. Repair costs could run into thousands of dollars. Therefore having an insight into signs of termites activity around your property could be invaluable and save you a lot of heartache and money!
Know The Signs Of Termites – Signs of Termites In Walls
Termites really don’t do us any favours because they work silently in huge netsworks of underground tunnels which are about the same width as a pencil and eat the timber from the inside – if they damage the outside they will even try to repair it to cover their tracks! Therefore they can be present, eating away inside your walls, under your floors, in your basement, in the crawl space of your home, certain types of termites will even eat your furniture. On top of that they are willing to travel! They can cover a wide area and forage for food as far away as 350 feet from the nest.
So, what should you look for and where should you look for signs of termites?
Termites prefer to live in a moist environment where the temperature is fairly consistant. This makes the soil in your garden or yard perfect, somewhere between the frost line and the bed rock is where termites will construct their multi-roomed nest.
Termite Mud Tube
In order to forage for food termites often have to construct mud tubes to enable them to cross areas where they cannot tunnel through. These tubes are constructed of earth, saliva and pieces of chewed up cellulose and act as protection against preditors – mainly ants and to prevent the termites from drying out. These tubes which are about the same width as a pencil may be found attached to a surface or may be free standing. Either way they will usually lead into a crack or small hole in the brickwork surrounding door and window frames. If you discover these mud tubes you have discovered one of the sure signs of termites in your property.
Inside your home, you should inspect your basement and crawlspace closely for more signs of termites – using a torch should make it a little easier. The first thing to look for is faecal matter which is often scattered around on surfaces. It varies in colour from brown to beige depending on which type of timber the termite has been feeding on and has been likened visually to grains of sand or sawdust.
Termite Nest Behind Wall
As I have said before termites eat the timber from the inside so finding visibly damaged wood is unlikely. (unless you have Formosan termites in which case you may discover an above ground carton like nest.) However, if you discover any wall studs or baseboards which sound hollow and break them open you may find another sign of termites – a honeycomb like pattern inside due to the termites eating along the grain of the wood. This will quite often be packed with earth.
About the only time you may come across the ultimate sign of termites i.e. live termites is if you are carrying out any building work. They will shift very quickly when faced with light but you wll recognise them by the fact that they are around 10mm in length, soft and light in colour.
If you find any of these signs of termites it is wise employ professional help immediately, but by carrying out these self inspections on a monthy basis you may be able to catch any potential problem quickly before these tiny pests literally eat you out of house and home!