Every home becomes the victim of pests at some point in its lifetime. One of the most prevalent problems is termites, which are generally associated with states with warmer temperatures. Termites are winged insects that live in colonies and cause significant damage (approximately $5 billion in the US alone). Given the nature of termites and the trouble they can cause, it is good to learn what signs they leave. This article will look at different types of termites, along with five tips on how to spot termites on your property.
Three Main Types
Although termites are troublesome and can be hard to detect and deter, it doesn’t hurt to have a general understanding, so you know when to call the best termite exterminators.
- Subterranean – as the name suggests, these termites live underground in the soil and can look to your flooring for sources of food. They eat away at your floor, which is obviously a problem.
- Drywood – this family of termites lives in wood like dead trees or your wooden walls/floors. They don’t need to contact the soil to thrive and will do extensive damage, but at a much slower rate.
- Dampwood – unless you have significant issues with damp wood in your floors, it is unlikely that you will come across this type, as they live in wood that has a high moisture level.
When termites are ready to mate or find a new home, they swarm out of their nests. When they reach their destination, they twist off their wings. As your property is their perfect destination, you might find discarded wings by your door – be sure not to confuse termite wings with ant wings.
Subterranean termites nest underground and surface to find food sources, which can leave small tubes of mud around your house. Further, they also use tunnels around their nests to keep their home at the correct temperature by managing cool air.
When termites feed under the surface of your wood, it can cause the wood to blister. Don’t be fooled, as subterranean termites feed under your floorboards, and the blistering can look like regular water damage.
One thing to look out for is droppings from drywood termites. They feed under the surface of wooden structures, and to keep themselves clean they kick out their droppings. You can spot these piles because they look like mounds of sawdust. If you’re unsure, call for a professional exterminator.
As termites feed under your wood, they create lots of grooves, and over time they cause structural damage. On the surface, hollowed-out wood looks like a honeycomb and will sound empty.
Now that you’re equipped with the tools to spot termites, and probably feeling a little bit itchy, why not go and give your house the once over. Be sure to contact an exterminator immediately if you find evidence of termites.