You may have spotted a termite in your home. Or, you may have heard knocking noises from your walls at night. In any case, if you suspect termites are eating their way through your home, you should call in a pest control team for an inspection. You want to find out how bad the infestation is, what damage has already occurred and how you can finally eliminate it.
It is necessary to alert your pest control team to any damp spots in the house or water leaks. These are the best places for termites to build a nest. However, an experienced pest control agent does a thorough inspection of the property (inside and outside the house). That way, they can tell if there are any live termites, even if there are no visible signs of it. For example, you can use thermal imaging and radar technologies.
Here are some of the 5 unmistakable signs of termites that you will be looking for during an inspection:
1. Termite wings
It is true that termites usually dig underground and make nests behind walls. Above ground, however, they will look for signs of wings that have been dropped from underground termites after a swarm of termites. These occur when the humidity begins to rise in spring and summer and can be triggered during a hot, pouring downpour.
The termites swarm as part of their natural reproductive cycle, but die and drop wings in the process. The winged termites are sexually mature adults called alates. A termite’s wings are the same in length and width, which is different from flying ants with longer wings on the ground.
If your technician finds discarded wings on your property, it is a surefire sign that thanks to Swarmers there has been a breed and that there is a healthy colony of termites somewhere in or near your home that has been around for some time. Termites start new colonies from existing nests. They don’t start producing winged termites until the colony is very well established – this usually takes a few years.
2. Mud hoses
These are also known as protective tubes. They are small mud tunnels that termites build when they want to move through exposed spaces. For example, since they cannot walk through concrete feet, they build a highway around or above it.
Termites can become dehydrated quickly. To protect themselves from exposure, they build these mud hoses out of soil, wood cellulose, and other materials to create a microenvironment that will maintain humidity for them. It also protects them from predators.
You are unlikely to spot a mud pipe, but a trained pest control operator knows that it looks along your foundation and near your pipes. The tubes are similar in thickness to a straw and can be straight or a different shape. They also search your crawlspace, attic, and other areas where termites may have found access points to your home.
3. Mud in strange places
Termites are hard workers and will constantly strive to create suitable spaces to build nests or feed. Just because you can’t find mud tubes doesn’t mean that termites aren’t actively sealing gaps, holes, and cracks with debris to make them more comfortable.
Your technician will also check for signs of caked dirt in places like concrete or construction joints.
4. Wood on your property
If a pest control technician doesn’t search your yard for signs of termites, that’s a red flag for not inspecting them thoroughly enough. Termites are always looking for new food sources (wood). Main culprits to check are wooden fences, wooden mulch that has been placed near the foundation of your home, piles of firewood, dead wood from fallen trees, decks, sheds, and play sets.
Only pressure-treated wood is resistant to termites. All other food sources for termites should be examined for signs of termites. Termites are attracted to the smell of wood. You will likely spot these while foraging in your yard before they move into your home.
5. Signs of wood damage
You may not notice that your baseboards are damaged, but your inspector will look closely to see if it is. If they find there is a void, they can remove a section to see if the wood inside is damaged.
Termites eat wood from the inside so there is no external sign of their feasting. A baseboard can practically be torn off, with only the paint on the outside holding the waste together. If termites have worked inside, you’ll see excavated sections with deep grooves (usually parallel to each other). Termites prefer soft wood, so they avoid the parts of the hard wood and focus on the areas with spring growth. There may also be mud residue.
Pest-Ex has been providing professional pest control services in Brisbane for more than 20 years. For more information you can visit theirs website.