Termites devour their way through wood from the inside, exterior damage may not be visibly obvious. From the surface the wood may seem solid, but from the inside, it has been riddled with termite galleries. This can make it difficult to determine if a termite infestation is actually present, you can do your own inspection and look for the indicators to be certain of such infestations.
Here are the Signs of Termite Infestations:
1. Wood Damage
Damaged wood can be indicative of a termite infestation. Look for small holes in wood, sagging doors, loose window frames and crumbling drywall. If the wood is heavily damaged, it will crack or puncture easily and sound hollow when it is tapped. Since wood termite colonies are typically small and grow slowly over time, it will usually take them between five and 10 years to cause significant structural degradation to a large wooden beam.
2. Termite Swarms
Usually during the spring and fall, both dry-wood and subterranean termites start new colonies by swarming. Swarming termites will typically be seen flying near windows or lights.
3. Termite Wings
Another signs of infestations are termite wings, lots of them piles of discarded wings are a great termite indicator because they shed their wings when they swarm.
4. Fecal Pellets
Termites make fecal droppings that look like tiny hexagonal pellets, called frass, which they discharge from their nests. These droppings resemble granulated sawdust and are often found below infested wood or in small piles in attics. Seeing termite pellets will not only confirm the presence of an infestation, but also help determine where the infested wood is located.
5. Mud Tubes
The presence of mud tubes on the outside of the foundation will certainly indicate a subterranean termite infestation. In the case of a subterranean termite infestation take quick action because they can cause a lot of structural destruction.
6. White Ants
A common mistake people make is confusing termites with ants or calling termites “white ants”. This misconception is an easy one to make as both ants and termites are very similar in both shape, size and in some cases behavior.
7. Hollow Sounding Wood
Termites usually consume wood from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer of timber or just the paint. When you knock or tap on an area that has termite damage, it will sound hollow or papery. This is because part or all of the timber inside has been eaten away.
8. Hard to Open Doors and Windows
Often related to signs of damp and hot weather, stiff windows and warped doors can also mean termites! The moisture they produce when eating and tunneling through door and window frames causes the wood to warp, making it tough to open doors and windows.