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As temperatures continue to increase across the country and the ground becomes warmer, winged termites will emerge to launch an attack on vulnerable homes across the country.

Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because their constant gnawing can go unnoticed until significant structural damage to the home occurs. Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. Winged swarmers often appear in spring to search for suitable spots to create a new colony, often settling down in homes that have sustained moisture damage from snow, ice, rain and wind over the winter.

Termites property damage accounts for at least $5 billion each year, a cost that often goes uncovered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Eastern Subterranean termites are most likely to cause problems in Massachusetts, so it’s important for homeowners to be remain vigilant for signs of these wood-destroying pests in and around their property.

Here are a few clues that termites may be present in a home:

  1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home
  2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint
  5. Small piles of feces that resembles sawdust near a termite nest
  6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home

If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a pest professional who can best determine the extent of the problem and recommend a proper treatment plan.