If you have wood stacked up against your home, that’s pretty much asking for problems. Damp lumber attracts a variety of household pests. The main one being termites.
Termites will eat away at the foundation of your home. Over time this will compromise the structure. If you don’t catch them soon enough, it will cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
What are the signs you have termites? It isn’t always as obvious as chewed wood and discarded insect wings.
We can help you figure out if you’re dealing with these harmful pests. Here are a few common termite signs that you should be looking out for.
Types of Termites
When you’re looking for signs of termites, it’s a good idea to know about the different types that you might run into. The most common is the subterranean termite.
They thrive in moisture, which means they mostly stay underground. That doesn’t mean that they won’t come in and infest your home.
The second type is Formosan. These are pretty aggressive, and once you have them in your home, it will be hard to get rid of them without the help of a professional.
The last type is drywood. They can burry into the foundation and start their own colony without the need for moisture. They can make it into your house via the air.
1. Chewed Wood
The most common sign of termites is damaged wood. They feed on the lumber from the inside out. They leave markings on the surface, but if you don’t know what these markings look like, you might not be able to spot the problem in time.
The cost for termite treatment can be a bit expensive when it gets to this point. Listen out for creaking.
If you suspect that you have an infestation on your hands, you can press on the wall a bit. If the wall caves or crumbles at all, this is a good sign that it’s been damaged.
2. Termite Wings
As the termite swarm matures, the winged ones come out to create new colonies. Once they no longer need their wings, the insects shed them.
If you have termites, you’ll see these wings around your home in areas where there’s light. Look around window sills. They also tend to get stuck in cobwebs.
3. Mud Tubes
Some types of termites leave something known as mud tubes behind. It acts as a shelter to protect the termites as they move from their colony to the wood. They’re made out of soil and small amounts of debris.
The tunnels retain moisture to keep the termites from drying out. The most common place to find these mud tubes is around your house foundation.
Termites tend to make dirt mounds as well. You’re more likely to find these outside your home rather than around your foundation.
When the adult termites leave to create their own colony, they do so as a swarm. The thing is, they often look like flying ants. Unless you have some experience, it will be hard for you to tell them apart.
If you see what could be termites in your home, call a professional. They’ll be able to tell you if you have any reason to worry and get rid of your problem for you.
As the termites eat wood and create tunnels, they leave droppings behind. These droppings often look like wood shavings or salt and pepper.
More often than not, they’re located close to where the termites are hiding. Check around for any small holes and signs of infected wood.
If you think you have termites, hold your ear up to the wall. You’ll be able to hear the sound of the insects chewing through the wood. It usually sounds like tiny clicks.
Soldier ants will also bang their head against the wall if they feel like there’s any danger nearby. They do this to warn the colony. Since they can hear the vibrations of you walking about, they’ll always feel some form of fear.
7. Damaged Trees
If the trees outside your home get infested with termites, it will damage their internal structure. This is extremely dangerous as it could cause them to fall on top of your roof.
Termites can make their way from the trees to your home if they’re close enough to the foundation. Look around for holes and wood shavings.
Take a shovel and dig around the base of the tree. If you’re dealing with termites, you’ll see discarded wings and dead insects in the dirt.
8. Hollow Sounds
Again termites eat the wood from the inside out. If you suspect that you have them, knock on your wall. If it sounds hollow, that means your hunch might be right.
Call a professional ASAP to come look around. If the wood is hollowed out, that means that they’ve been around for a while. This can make for some unsafe living conditions.
9. Bubbling Paint
When your home is exposed to heavy amounts of moisture, it can cause your paint to bubble and crack. Usually, this is a sign that you have some type of water damage.
It can also mean that you have termites eating away at your walls. The mud that the insects give off can trap in moisture.
10. Tight-Fitting Windows and Doors
The last sign to look out for is tight-fitting windows and doors. That mud we were talking about above does more than cause your paint to bubble.
The moisture build-up can make the wood swell. As a result, it will be harder for you to open and close your windows and doors.
Clear Signs You Have Termites
These are all the signs you have termites. If you don’t spot them soon enough, you’ll be in big trouble. These harmful little insects can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
You may have to pay out thousands of dollars to fix up the foundation of your home. Don’t let that happen to you.
If you’re looking for more ways to protect your house from common household pests, we have you covered. Check out our blog daily for all the latest tips and tricks.
Bubbling paint was something I really appreciate you discussing. I’ve been noticing this becoming more and more rampant in the shed I have out back, and I wondered if this was caused by anything that we could fix. Now that I know what this is, I’ll hire a pest control expert right away.