Key Signs of Termites in Home
Anyone possessing their own private house probably has heard at least once about termites and the dangers they pose.
Who are the termites and why are they dangerous?
Termites are small insects, resembling ants with white bodies and wings.
The main food for termites is wood and only then all the derivatives including paper, cardboard, etc. In context of the nature termites are not even the pests, since they eat only dead wood.
So is it possible to detect termites if they have infected the house? And how to do it? In this article we will try to explain in details the signs of termites in home.
Termites can destroy your home
How to know if you have termites in your home? If you begin to notice small holes in the wooden structures of a house or land, you should start to pay attention to “the empty” sound from tapping on the wall, which was not there before – it’s time to sound the alarm.
Your house with a probability of 99% is attacked by termites. How serious is it? More than you can imagine.
One of the main dangers is that termites can be very secretive enemies. Their vestiges cannot even be observed.
They bite into your house; they can for example start from the basement and proceed to empty the insides of the wooden ceilings of the house.
The worst thing is that it will last 2-3 years before your fortress is collapse in the truest sense of the word.
Small cracks for an ordinary person will lead to the heavy damage and that where the help of a professional inspector is needed.
Brick house on a concrete slab is protected from termites. Usually all the houses have a wooden frame. The house of brick planted on a concrete slab though it isn’t safe itself.
Regardless of how the tree is separated from the soil, termites can find a way from the ground up. Usually the cracks help to reach the coveted wood.
What termites are dangerous?
It is possible to allocate 2 main types of termites: subterranean and arboreal.
The first live in the ground and trees, the second only in buildings of wood.
Underground species also live in different barns, garden houses, dung heaps.
They also cause harm to your property.
Tip: if you were able to determine that you are attacked by these termites – it will not be easy; most likely you will need to turn to professionals.
Now, when you know about the damage that could be done by termites in house, signs is the second most important question that could be taken into consideration.
How to determine that the house is infested with termites?
Read another article about the early signs of infestation.
If you have any of these symptoms of termites in house, immediately start to take action or go to a specialist:
- Small round holes – termites gnaw holes and tunnels, and then they simultaneously feed on and make their route.
- Tunnels – if you’ve found the cracks or damaged areas, then try to “pick open” more broadly and see just whether this is damage or termite trail.
- Dust – small piles of dust near the above holes is another sure sign.
- Waste – if the termites are hiding well, their excrement on the contrary can show where they disappeared to. From you can track the insects.
- Mud tubes – along the grains on the eaten wood you can find the dried out mud or ground.
Termites can seriously damage your house and furniture. In order to avoid this, it is very important to learn in time to determine the appearance of these insects to take all necessary measures.
However, be careful! According to the UN, “Chlordane”, and “Mirex” cannot be used in termite control. These substances are not toxic to humans, but are carcinogenic, i.e. they can cause very serious health problems for other animals in places of their application. Therefore for the extermination of termites it is better to consult professionals.
In our article we’ve tried to describe step by step the mechanism of determining the termites in the house. Follow these instructions and then to find the termites will not be difficult.
What you will need:
- A jar.
- Rubbing alcohol.
- A plastic bag.
- If you see near your house swammers (winged termites), this might mean that the house is infected.
- Place the caught insect in a small jar with alcohol. If a jar is not at hand, then use a plastic bag. Get the insect to an exterminator or in a special institution that deals with termite control in your city. It will help you to identify whether it’s a termite or another insect.
- Inspect the foundation or exterior walls of your house. Termites build special tunnels to safely get to food sources. These moves can be detected both on the ground and in the wooden support pillars or beams on the floor. The materials from which these tunnels are made, is usually brown in color and diameter of a pencil or pen.
- If you find such passages, then open one of them. Usually, you will find in them translucent insects. This will be the termites-workers. If no termites were found in them, they may not be using these concrete tunnels. But the likelihood of them infecting your home still exists.
- Please note any damage to the wooden surfaces of your house. Cracks in the plywood or visible labyrinths of passages point that the house is infected with termites. These insects eat wood along the grain, and you will be able to find inside the dried mud or ground.
- Pay attention to the walls. If your walls start to bend inwards, it means that the termites have begun gnawing the wooden supports behind them.
- Look for small holes in drywall or in plaster. At the edges of these holes you will be able to detect the dirt, the mud tubes and other waste left by termites. These holes are the first signs of termites in drywall.
- Inspect any place in your house that looks like water-damaged. Inspect floors, ceilings, window sills, and window frames. By the way, termites can leave behind a musty smell.
- Look for traces of termite waste. Termites form their colonies usually in the walls or in the furniture and take out the droppings and other waste out. These wastes can be found near the entrances to their tunnels. Check furniture or a wall with small holes-entrances. The holes are often very well hidden, and their presence is given out only by the waste of termites.
- Remove waste. Daily check the place where you found them. If the waste no longer appears, then the termites may have died or moved to another location
- Tap on wood furniture and see if the waste from termites will fall out. Note that their movement can often be detected in old furniture. But if from the holes nothing frays, it is likely that termites are not in it.
Attention! Termites usually begin to swarm in spring and autumn, or after the first rain in areas with long dry periods.
Keep in mind that there are the most recognizable signs of termites in your home and there are many others.
Watch pictures below with the most common evidences of termites in house:
If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:
- All types of termites. Are they harmful to humans? Can they bite you? And what is the difference between drywood and subterranean ones?
- What does swarmers of different species look like: drywood, subterranean, formosan?
- Signs of infestation outside and in the house: in walls or furniture.
- What does termite holes look like? What is droppings and is it toxic to humans? Do termites make noises?
- Posible termite damage, how does it look like? Examples of damage in walls and wood floors.
- All about flying termites: how do they look like, swarming season and what to do if there are swarmers in your house?
- How do they do nests and mounds? How to find it in your garden or inside the house?
- Termite life cycle – from egg to larvae. And social hierarchy: workers, soldiers, queen.
Learn how to tell if you have termites in house through the detecting the hollowing out or honeycombing of baseboards with information from a pest control specialist in this free video on termite control:
Termites require a responsible approach. Firstly, they cannot be won otherwise, and secondly your house is probably one of the biggest assets and losing it because of insects is not acceptable. Use a variety of tools and combine them and you are sure to win. Hope, this article helped you to find the answer on the question: “How do you know if your house has termites?”.
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