With more than 600,000 households being infested by termites each year, prevention and early detection are crucial to avoiding expensive repairs and extermination costs. An infestation can start small, and at this initial point, it is virtually undetectable without help from a pest control specialist, but it will slowly eat away at the wooden structure of a building and grow in size. Before you know it, extensive damage has occurred. This is why it’s important to have regular termite inspections, because by the time the signs become visible to the homeowner, the colony is fairly large in size and a lot of damage has been done. Still, understanding the signs you need to look for even at this late stage is important to preventing further damage. In this article, we’re going to go over these signs.
- Mud tubes
Subterranean termites use mud tubes to travel outside of the ground. They are very sensitive to light, and they need these tubes in order to survive outside the colony. If you check the foundation of the home, you can see these mud tubes going up wooden support structures if you have an infestation.
- Hollow-sounding wood
As termites feed on wood, they hollow it out, so by tapping on wooden walls, floors or beams, you will hear a hollow sound. At this point, the infestation is pretty serious, because it means that the termites have only left the outside of the wood intact.
When a colony is large enough, a type of reproductive termites, known as swarmers, will fly out of the colony searching for new locations rich in food to start a new nest. Seeing swarmers can mean one of two things – either the infestation in your home is very big, or a new colony is about to start in your home.
- Piles of swarmer wings
When the swarmers have found an adequate location for a nest, they will shed their wings and get to work. Noticing these wings in your home, whether it’s just a few lying around, or actual piles, means that the termites may have begun the infestation process.
- Damaged walls
Finally, as the infestation spreads, it will reach the walls, making them look discolored, bulging or as if they were water damaged. Paint may also start peeling and bubbling at this point. You will have trouble opening doors and windows as well, as the walls start to warp.
Treating a termite infestation
If you notice any of these signs, the colony in your home may number in the millions. It is very important to call a pest control specialist as soon as possible, because the speed with which the termites can cause damage when a colony is this large is very fast. Contact us today, and we will help you remove the colony immediately.