Because termites eat wood from the inside out, termite damage can often go undetected for long periods of time. In fact, by the time signs of termites are spotted in homes, significant damage has usually already been done. Because of this, it is recommended that homeowners have a termite inspection done annually and any time signs of termites are seen.
What are some of the signs of termite infestations to look for? Here are six of the most common:
- Clicking Sounds: Soldier termites will bang their heads against wood or shake their bodies when the colony is disturbed. They use these sounds to signal danger to the other termites in the colony. The sound is often heard as a quiet clicking sound emanating from the walls.
- Flying Termites: Flying termites are usually the first sign of a termite infestation. While they are often mistaken for flying ants, they are, in fact, “swarmers” who leave the nest in search of a mate to establish a new colony. Swarming season is usually in the spring after the first freeze. Once the termites mate, they lose their wings. These discarded wings, often found near doors and windowsills, are another common sign of termites.
- Stiff or Warped Doors & Windows: Termites produce moisture when they tunnel through wood. When they make their way through window frames and doors it causes them to warp and making them difficult to get open, often resembling water damage. This can also cause uneven or bubbling paint.
- Damaged Wood: Termites consume wood from the inside out, often masking damage for long periods of time. When wood is damaged by termites, it will often make a hollow or papery sound when tapped on. This is one of the most common signs of termite damage.
- Droppings: Frass is another name for termite feces. Subterranean termites use their feces to build tunnels; drywood termites, however, push their feces out of small holes near the entrances to their nests as they tunnel. This leaves small black marks and a dark powdery substance near sites of infestation and damage. Frass is often found as piles of pellets.
- Mud Tubes: Subterranean termites build mud tubes to provide moisture and protect them from predators while they travel between their colonies and their food sources. These tubes are often found near home foundations. Mud tubes are made of tiny pieces of soil, wood, and debris.
If you spot any of these signs of termites in your home, contact a termite control company who can not only provide you with an inspection to confirm the presence of termites, but also provide you with treatment options and a termite protection plan for the future.