Termites cause millions of dollars in damage each year in the United States alone. They eat away at the property, but they can also live in and eat through electric wiring, plumbing, and other crucial installations such as foundations that even the most diligent homeowner may not be able to inspect regularly. It is necessary to have regular inspections by a qualified professional pest control expert. Pest extermination has proven to rid the home of termite infestation effectively.
What Are the Signs of Termites?
Most homeowners who find themselves dealing with termites will be able to recognize their presence through the following signs of termites
1. A General Termite-Borne Odor
Termites can live in wood, and although you may not smell them, you will smell an odor caused by their waste products and fecal matter. This odor indicates that there are termites present in your home or yard and are likely eating or tunneling inside your property.
2. Highly Visible Wood Damage
If you find stains or distinct marks that appear relatively fresh on your wooden surfaces, this indicates termite activity. Termites leave distinctive tracks in the form of small galleries in hardwood, and you may notice them as shallow rungs that appear as if they were drilled into the wood by a nail.
3. The Nest
If you discover a series of holes in your ceiling, you should immediately call an exterminator to inspect the area. These do not bite marks or scrapes – they are termite nests, and they must be treated right away if you want to keep any further damage from occurring to your property. These holes will be larger than those made by ants, and they will slant downwards at an angle so that the termites can take their feces away from the nest site. If you have big enough holes, you can see the termites moving around inside them, indicating a nearby nest.
4. Termite Excrement
While you may notice nothing else but the termite exit holes, you will smell a distinctive odor if you are unlucky to step in their feces. The excrement is highly acidic and will eat away any wood it falls on. If they have taken up residence in your home, and you have seen signs of termites above ground, there is a good chance that these excrement marks are also signs of an active nest. It indicates what type of termites, how long they have been present, and when or if they will be happening again.
Different Types of Termites Commonly Found in Homes
1. Dampwood Termites
These termites live in damp wood, hence their name, which means they need water to survive. They can produce a limited amount of this for themselves but dislike having high humidity levels; therefore, one sign that your home is infested with these termites is if you have been experiencing significant amounts of condensation inside your home.
2. Conehead Termites
These termites appear in groups that are typically white or gray and have a conical shape. These termites particularly like to hate wood that may have mold on it, hence the name; however, they can also be found in other places such as sewer pipes and even watches. They are pretty aggressive and tend to swarm other insects, making them hard to detect.
3. Drywood Termites
These termites will only live in wood that can produce large amounts of cellulose and therefore are primarily found in old wooden structures. They are also known for their lack of smell, which means that you can often tell whether or not a home is infested with these termites just by seeing how much moisture the wood has.
4. Formosan Termites
These termites are only found in the United States, and they are tough to detect because they tend to eat wood inside your walls. If you have wooden structures in your home and live in an area where these termites appear, you must contact a good exterminator. You could even ask the neighbors if they have noticed a problem before.
The best way to keep your home safe from termites is to have regular inspections done by a professional exterminator. You can either pay for these services yourself or include them in your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you have several wood structures on your property, such as a deck or fence, it is also wise to have these areas inspected from time to time.