Being able to recognize signs of termites in the home is important to keep your home and property safe. Termites ingest wood and can cause considerable damage in a short amount of time. These insects are a concern because they lead to structural damage and costly repairs. Here are a few common signs that your home has termites.
Termites are most noticeable in spring and summer but they are active year-round. The queen can lay 3,000 eggs every day, expanding the size of the colony in a very short time. When the weather begins to warm, some termites leave the colony, looking for a place to establish a new colony.
1. Discarded Wings are Signs of Termites
In termite-breeding season, some termites grow wings to leave the nest. They fly away to mate and look for a place to establish a colony. When the termites find a suitable home, their wings are no longer needed and so are discarded.
A homeowner may notice piles of discarded wings. Though often assumed to be the wings of flying ants, these are a sign of termites. If you see wings inside your home or on window sills, call a professional. The flying insects may have chosen your property for their new colony.
2. Hollowed Wood
Termites are efficient workers. They can cause damage to solid wood. A sign of a termite infestation is hollowed-out beams or framing. You might notice uneven hardwood flooring that seems soft in places. Termites break down the wooden components of a home, weakening them. If you suspect termites, inspect the wood closely, looking for softer areas and listening for a hollow sound when you knock or tap on surfaces.
3. Frass, or Termite Droppings
As termites chew and tunnel their way through the wood of your home, they create tiny holes to move waste out of the tunnels. If you notice small piles of sawdust-like material, this may be “frass”, or termite droppings that they’ve cleaned out of their tunnels. The piles can look like sawdust or sand and they’re not a good sign. If you spot frass, termites have settled in and are building a colony.
4. Mud Tubes are Signs of Termites
Subterranean termites live in the soil and prefer moist places. Each day, worker termites go in search of food for the colony. To protect themselves from heat and dry air, termites build mud tubes. They use these tubes to move about during the day. You might notice mud tubes on trees near your property or on the foundation of your home.
Controlling a termite infestation at home requires expert help. Hire a professional to inspect your home and property. They will be able to recommend treatment for your house to eliminate these destructive insects.