5 Signs of Termites and How to Eradicate Them

5 Signs of Termites and How to Eradicate Them
  • Opening Intro -

    Your home looks beautiful inside and out, one of the best tended properties in the neighborhood.

    Underneath it all, however, a growing and expanding problem is at work, one that may soon damage, even destroy your home if left untended.

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And that would be termite infestation, the top threat to wood-based structures, exceeding the annual damage from fire, floods and wind damage.

Fortunately, with regular attention on your part, you can spot the signs of termite intrusion and thwart these bugs before damage occurs. Termites are found in 49 states with only Alaska spared the problem. Here’s what signs to look for where termites and possible infestation are concerned.

1. Swirling swarms. Termites love to dig deep, but they can also fly. In the springtime, subterranean termites take to the air in a bid to create fresh colonies. Drywood termites can fly at other times of the year. If you see a swarm or areas of discarded wings, then a termite specialist should be contacted at once.

2. Hollowed wood. Tap on your home’s exterior and you should hear a solid thud in return. However, if you hear a hollowed-out sound, then termites may already be at work, doing damage behind the scenes. Termites eat from the inside out: by the time you discover the problem, the damage could be done. You will need to contact a termite specialist and will likely need to call in a contractor to repair the damage once the problem is under control.

3. Moisture assistance. You may unknowingly be supporting your local termite colonies by storing the foods that they love close to your home. These include mulch, fire wood, and wood chips. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach warns “that landscape mulch improve conditions for termite colonies” a condition that mulch can create. It is not necessarily the mulch itself that termites want, rather the wet conditions. Thus, any type of mulch be it wood, plastic or other material may increase termite exploration, tunneling, and feeding.

4. Termite droppings. Termites leave behind droppings or excrement, what is commonly known as frass. Piles of pellets may suddenly appear, indicating that dry wood termites are present. They come in different colors depending on the kind of wood the termites have consumed, but they are always six-sided according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

5. Close cracks. Even the smallest cracks in your home can provide a way for termites to enter in. Keep an eye on your foundation as well as your home’s windows, vents and roof siding. Even a crack slightly thicker than a piece of construction paper can provide easy access to your home.

Given that your home is your largest and most important investment, a regular check up by a termite specialist is in order. Do not wait for signs of infestation to appear before taking action. Although infestation can be eradicated, it may cost you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs when the damage has already been done.

See AlsoBuyer Advice: Home Inspections

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Categories: Pest Control

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".