Termites are one of the worst fears of a homeowner. Found throughout all of the United States, they can cause thousands of dollars in property damage.
You’ve probably wondered how to know if you have termites in the first place, though. After all, they get into your home through your foundation and dig deep into the wood foundation of your home.
A termite infestation can mean over 10,000 bugs crawling through your home, eating away at it.
Here are 8 signs that you might have termite problems and should call pest control as soon as possible.
- Blisters in Wood Flooring
Blisters refer to any part of your wood flooring that has bubbled up or peeled away. Usually, this is due to moisture problems, but it’s also a sign that termites have been feeding within or underneath the floor.
You can also see a similar bubbling underneath paint for the same reasons.
Removing the wood flooring to check for water damage may surprise you by revealing a host of termites eating away at your subfloor.
- Visible Wood Damage
One of the more obvious signs of a termite infestation is visible wood damage in your home. Wood damage can be found below or behind surfaces, such as in your walls, and you might also see it in your attic space.
The damage is caused by termites chewing through in search of cellulose, and it takes the form of long grooves. Left unchecked, these grooves can cause severe structural damage.
Termite treatment alone can cost anywhere from $220 to $911, but damages to your home could cost thousands on top of that.
On average, the repairs could end up being $500 to repair drywall, $1,050 to repair carpentry framing, and around $6,000 to clean and fix a crawl space. The sooner the infestation is dealt with, the less you’ll have to pay for repairs.
- Termite Swarms
A good clue that you have termite problems is if you see them with your own eyes.
Termite nests can be built both inside and outside of your home, and as it turns out, termites fly. You could very well see them buzzing around.
Since termites can invade your home through your foundation, you could see flying termites leave through those same cracks or from exposed structural wood.
- Scattered Wings
Even when you don’t see the termites with your own eyes, you can often find discarded wings. They’re usually found near closed windows, doors, and other areas where they can get in.
When termites land in your home, they intentionally twist their wings off because they’ve fulfilled their purpose. They can be differentiated from ant wings because termite wings are all the same size, while ants have larger front wings.
The location of their wings can also help you find out what direction the termites are coming from as well as help you prevent future infestations.
- Termite Droppings
Termite droppings, otherwise known as frass, can also be found during a termite infestation. Drywood termites live inside the wood, and the excrement they make is pushed out of small holes close to the nest.
The frass tends to look like either black marks or a dark powder and resemble sawdust or wood shavings. However, if they’re spotted near small holes in your wood, then it’s a clear indicator of termites.
Take note of where you spotted frass, as termite control can use that to pin down where the main nest is.
- Mud Tunnels
Mud tunnels, or tubes, refer to the structure created by termites to access your wooden structure.
Subterranean termites nest underground and travel to their food source. Mud tubes can be found wherever the ground meets your house, often leading to cracks in your foundation or walls.
These tunnels help provide the right temperature and humidity levels for termites to survive.
If there’s an active infestation, breaking a small part of a tunnel will reveal termites within. You can also come back a day later and see if the tunnel has been repaired.
- Outdoor Damage
There are ways to spot a termite infestation before they get into your home. Trees are made of wood, and as such are a possible target.
Signs of termite damage in trees include small holes and wood shavings. You can use a small shovel to poke around the roots to look for discarded wings or dead termites.
One risk of an outdoor infestation is that they may eventually work their way into your home. Even if that doesn’t happen, a rotting or dead tree could collapse onto your house or cause other property damage.
- You Can Hear Them in the Walls
As terrifying as this sounds, you can actually hear termites eating away behind your walls.
If you listen closely, it sounds like a quiet clicking noise that’s caused by them banging their heads against the wood. Termite soldiers make this noise as an alarm to warn other termites.
Worker termites also make a lot of noise when they’re feeding, and you can hear them if you press your ear against infested wood.
That’s not to say you should start putting your head against every wall in your home to figure out if you have termites, but you may notice it when you’re in bed or doing work on your home.
Getting Rid of Your Termite Infestation
Wondering how to get rid of termites? You can use some DIY techniques before reaching out to an exterminator.
Termite-killing products can be applied to the exterior of your home to kill them at the source. Boric acid on your floors and walls and termite baits can be used inside of your home.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts before the damage gets too severe.
Take Care of Your Home
Termites are a bigger deal than their size implies. However, as long as you keep an eye out for some of these signs, you should be able to stop their intrusion before it overwhelms you.
After the termite infestation has been dealt with, you’re gonna face the hefty task of home repair. You might as well use that opportunity to do something new to your home.
For tips and fun ideas, check out our other articles!