According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause over $5 billion worth of damage every year. This makes them the most destructive insect in North America.
The last thing you want is for these critters to make themselves at home in your wooden structures. So, it’s important to know the early warning signs of a termite infestation before it’s too late.
Here’s what to look (and listen) out for.
1. Evidence of Termites
Termites sometimes leave tell-tale signs of their presence lying around your house. You might notice small black marks and a powdery substance near openings in your wall. These are termite droppings, also called frass.
Dry wood termites push their excrement out of small holes near the entrance to their nest.
Discarded wings lying around your home are another one of the obvious signs of termite infestation. Male and female termites fly around looking for a mate, so when they discard their wings you know they’re ready to settle down in your home.
2. Clicking Sounds
Termites are noisy creatures. They bang their heads on wood while feeding, rattle their bodies as an alarm signal, and chew loudly.
The human ear hears these sounds as faint clicks. So, listen out for unusual sounds near your wooden walls, there could be a gathering of termites within.
3. White Ants
If you get to see the termites scurrying around it means that they’re looking for new feeding grounds. Termites look like white ants so, if you see them you know you’ve already got a severely termite-infested house.
Get hold of a pest control company right away so they can administer termite infestation treatment before it’s too late. You can read this for tips on picking the best one in your area.
4. Damaged Timber
Termites tunnel their way through the wood, chomping all the while. Sometimes you can see these tunnels, called galleries, from the outside of termite-infested wood.
You’ll need to look closely to notice these shapes crisscrossing the surface of the wood. Be sure to check any exposed areas of wood in your home regularly for these signs of termites.
When termites chew wood, they always leave a thin top layer on the outside to protect themselves from the elements. Meanwhile, they’ve already hollowed out the inside of the timber with their foraging.
Tap on any suspicious-looking timber, and if it sounds hollow, you know they’re in there.
Avoid a Termite Infestation in the First Place
Don’t wait until you have a wood-eating fest in full swing before learning how to prevent a termite infestation. Keep debris and brush cleared from the sides of your home, that’s how termites get inside your walls.
You can also get in touch with a pest control specialist to perform a preventive treatment against termites. Rather safe than sorry.
Isn’t it strange how such a small creature can cause such big problems? It says a lot about teamwork if nothing else. If you’d like to find out more interesting things about home repairs and decor, keep browsing my blog.