Did you know that termites can get into your house and start destroying its foundation without you even knowing that it’s happening?
Once termites get into your home, it’s possible that they can destroy it. This is why it’s important to know the signs you have termites. Once you know that they’re there, you can take action to get rid of them.
If you want to know how to know if you have termites in your home, read on and we’ll tell you what you need to know.
The Basics of Termites
Termites are tiny insects with a whitish color that is about a quarter of an inch long. There are various kinds of termites, but the eastern subterranean termite is the most common one that exists in North America.
If you live in the South of the country, you’re more at risk of having an infestation. But many people don’t realize that you can find them in other parts of the country as well. In fact, Alaska is the only state where they don’t exist.
Since termites are able to burrow into the ground, they’re able to escape freezing winter temperatures by digging tunnels deep in the ground beyond the freeze line.
Termites are closely related to ants. Both of these creatures consist mainly of workers, which spend their time constantly foraging for anything that contains cellulose. They use this in order to feed their queen, who in turn lays eggs in order to grow their colonies.
Amazingly, a queen termite is able to live for up to thirty years. What this means for your home is that once termites find their way inside, they’ll eventually destroy it unless you take action to stop them.
Even though this can be bad news for homeowners, it’s also important to be aware that these tiny insects play an important role in nature. When trees die and fall on the forest floors, termites help to decompose them, which turns them into nutrients for new plants to grow.
Signs You Have Termites
Even though termites are blind, they’re skilled at finding food. Once a termite finds its way to any kind of wood, it will find its way back to its nest in order to alert other workers. Within a few hours, an entire colony might start feasting on this new source of food.
Since they are skilled at staying hidden, it’s important that you know how to tell if they are in your home or not. If you realize that they are in your home, it’s important that you contact professionals who can help you to get rid of them such as this service.
Their Mud Tubes
Mud tubes are one of the most common signs of termites. These unique insects use their saliva in order to glue these tubes together in order to travel through. You can easily spot them once you know what to look for. The pencil-width tunnels spread like veins across the foundation of your home.
Swarmers are winged adult termites that fly together in groups. If you spot them flying near your home, or coming out of your house, this is an indicator that termites are near. Though it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve found your way into your home, it’s a good sign that you should call a professional in order to have your home inspected.
Finding Termite Wings
Since swarmers only use their wings for a short period of time before losing them, you might find termite wings around your house if they’ve found their way inside.
Depending on what species of these household pests are in your home, you might spot termite droppings. The problem is that the eastern subterranean termites, which is the most common species in the United States, leave their droppings inside of the wood that they’re consuming. This means that you’re unlikely to see the droppings.
Most other species leave their droppings around the wood that they’re consuming so it is easier to see their waste. You can recognize the droppings because they look like sawdust.
Other Signs of Termites
If you tap on a piece of wood that’s been eaten by termites, it’s probably going to sound hollow. You also might spot a thin and gritty brown film on the surface of the wood that’s been eaten by them.
Steps to Take if You Think That Termites Are Eating Your Home
Don’t panic if you see signs of termite damage in your home. The professionals have great methods for getting rid of termites. The most important thing is that you take action right away.
When you do find the right professional to hire for termite removal, ask to get a guarantee from them, once their work is complete, that they won’t return to your home. Keep in mind that different companies make different promises.
Make Your Home Less Attractive to Termites
You have many options available for preventing a termite infestation in your house before it starts. One of the easiest things you can do is get rid of any wood-to-ground contact outside of your house. For example, if you have wooden steps, consider putting a concrete block at their base.
If you are making a wooden deck, consider building it with pressure-treated wood. This is a type of wood that is more resistant to termites.
Know the Signs of Termites and Take Action to Eliminate Them
There is no reason to panic if you think that you have termites in your home. But once you know how to recognize the signs you have termites, it’s important that you don’t wait before taking action. The easiest thing to do for getting rid of termites is to leave it to the professionals.
If you want to find out more about caring for your home, don’t forget to check out the Home & Garden section of our website. Here we frequently publish articles about how to deal with pests such as termites.