Termites – They are every homeowner’s worst fear and are considered the top threat to wood-based structures, ahead of fire, flood and wind. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) termites cost Americans over $5 billion a year in damages. A home is most likely going to be the biggest investment most of us will ever have. Protect it from termites by educating yourself on the destructive pests.
Perhaps the most important thing to become knowledgeable about when it comes to termites is the warning signs. Below is a list of the five most apparent signs of termites in your home. If at the end of this article you suspect that your home may contain termite activity, contact a licensed pest management company to complete an inspection.
Wood that sounds hollow
Termites do not like being seen. In fact, they actually prefer dark, humid environments. Therefore, if you tap on a wooden surface and it sounds hollow, it could be because the termites are feeding on the wood from the inside out. In many termite cases, the wood looks smooth and undamaged from the outside.
Distorted or cracked paint on wooden surfaces
Some species of termites can enter your home through opening smaller than the edge of a dime, so if you spot any cracks in the home’s foundation, roof siding, vents and windows seal them up immediately.
Groups of winged insects of discarded wings
If you notice swarms of insects or spot large groups of discarded wings around your home, contact a termite specialist.
Look for frass
As termites eat their way through infested wooden areas, they produce wood-colored droppings called frass. Keeping your gutters, downspouts and crawl spaces clean and debris-free will cut off the food supply for termites.
Check exterior walls for mud tubes
Some species of termites create mud tubes on surfaces, like a home’s foundation, to retain moisture while they hunt for food. Be sure to keep all firewood, wood chips and mulch as far away from the home as possible to avoid producing a moisture-rich environment for termites to survive in.