Spotting a Termite Infestation

termites on wood

All homeowners eventually find themselves worrying about termites. Termite damage is a property owner’s worst nightmare because these tiny pests thrive even as they destroy the very structure of your home. Common termite symptoms are easy enough to spot, however, one only need to know where and how to look for these pests. The best way to avoid a great deal of structural damage is to identify the problem and initiate termite treatments as soon as possible. Keeping a close watch out and enacting a few prevention tactics may save you thousands of dollars and a giant headache.

Spotting a termite infestation is normally considered as part of our WDI Inspection.

Begin your search for termite colonies outside the home. These irritating pests like to enter a home either through soil-to-wood contacts or wood-to-wood contacts. Amazingly, they can tunnel through these substances almost effortlessly, creating air-tight tunnels right through the mediums. They are attracted to both substances, and this is why your search begins here. Check areas where wood comes into contact with your home. If you have a firewood pile adjacent to your house, you have put a major termite attraction at the front gate of your home. Consider moving it immediately after you check it for termites, as far back from your home as possible. Move on to check other such areas where wood comes into contact with the home. If you find that tree branches are a bit too close to the walls of your house, this is another problem you will want to take immediate care of. Trim the branches so that they are several feet away from your home.

Next, check the soil. Soil should ideally not be touching the wooden structures that make up your home’s support system; there should be about six inches between the ground and the wooden structures of your home. Unfortunately, things do not always work out like that.

Besides soil and wood, you will want to examine the places in or outside of your home where there is standing water or some sort of drainage issue. A termite seeks moisture because it craves it after it has been feeding. A colony will try to locate a humid space, where things generally stay wet and warm. As you examine these spaces, you will be looking for the trademark mud tubes. Because these pests cannot live without tunnels, they create these structures when they emerge from wherever they have been feeding. Mud tubes look like what their name literally describes; tubes constructed of mud. A mud tube means nothing else besides a termite infestation and if you see them outside your home, you will need to have it treated immediately.

Inside your home, check the exposed wooden frame structures for tunnels. The best place to look in most homes is in the basement or crawlspace. Naturally, you will likely need the companionship of a flashlight as you inspect these areas. Check the wooden beams for wings, fecal matter and sawdust debris left behind as the termite feeds. Termites also build mud tunnels indoors, to look for these as well. Check the wood with a flat head screwdriver and stab at the wood to see if anything turns up. Even if you do not turn up anything in your search, it is a good idea to have an annual inspection to ensure that these pests do not invade your home.

Don’t miss our next article where we talk about the hardwood flooring advantages.

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