Signs of Termite Infestation: How to Spot the Damage

The average cost of termite damage is over $5,000.  Imagine losing thousands of dollars due to termites! Even more shocking, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) it is estimated that termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year! Who knew how expensive these wood-loving insects could be?

Even a medium-sized colony of Formosan termites – which could be about three million of them – can eat the equivalent of one foot of 2X4 board in only two days.  In some worst-case scenarios, large Formosan colonies can either destroy a home completely or render it uninhabitable in as little as two years. 

Now that you understand how damaging termite infestations can be to homes and buildings, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of an infestation right from the start.  This article will focus on some common signs of termite infestation and the steps needed to deal with them.  

What to look for 

Subterranean Termite shelter tubes are tunnels about the diameter of a soda straw and are highly durable.  So durable, they have been known to survive some hurricane-level winds! Subterranean Termites construct mud shelter tubes as protective tunnels between their nest and food sources.  These tubes are typically made of soil, wood debris, and termite saliva. Look for mud tubes on your home’s foundation where it meets the ground.  You should also inspect baseboards, interior walls, and other areas of your home.  

Winged termites are known as swarmers or alates.  These are the reproductive castes of termites that emerge from colonies to mate and establish new independent colonies. If you see swarms of flying insects, especially around light sources, it could indicate a termite infestation. You may find discarded wings near windows, doors, or other entry points.  

Hidden signs of termites  

Termites feeding on wood make it weak and partially hollow.  Try tapping on wooden surfaces to check for a hollow sound and then look for any blistering or darkening of the wood.  As termites feed on wooden structures, they can cause doors and windows to become difficult to open or close smoothly. 

When it comes to spotting signs, not all termites are the same. Drywood termites fall into this unique category. They push out their fecal pellets, known as frass, from tunnels in the wood. These pellets are elongated with rounded ends and have six flattened or slightly depressed surfaces separated by six longitudinal ridges.  Be on the lookout for piles of frass near infested wood or tiny holes in wooden surfaces.  Subterranean termites, which nest underground, can cause floors to sag or become distorted due to their tunneling activity.  The peak periods subterranean termites thrive in are early spring and summer.  They still might swarm during other times of the year.  

 Send termites packing 

In summary, termite infestations can be challenging to handle on your own.  A trained inspector can detect termite infestations by uncovering evidence of winged reproductive ones, mud tubes, and wood damage.  Consulting a professional is highly recommended for effective termite control and prevention.  

Massey Services can help prevent these termite nightmares with our Termite Protection Program.  Reach out to Massey Services and schedule an appointment. Peace of mind is just a click away! 

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