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Last updated: June 11, 2018 Out of all of the pests which homeowners face, there are none which are as costly and as damaging as termites. These insects feed on cellulose, the organic fibrous substance in wood and plants, meaning they will literally eat your residence, so youll need to get rid of them fast. .
There are two main ways that termites may come to infest your house (assuming they werent already there in the first place); by air and through the ground.
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A drywood termite infestation normally occurs when an existing colony sends out flying termite swarmers. Once these swarmers find a wooden crevice in your home, they lose their wings, carve out a little nest, and begin laying eggs to start a brand new termite colony.
On the other hand, subterranean termites, whose colonies are underground, can enter your home via its foundations. As these termites forage for food, they may stumble upon a rich new food supply your house. Subterranean termites commonly build mud tunnels over foundation walls to get the wooden parts of the construction.
Note: While you will find other species of termites, these are the two most common species responsible for most of the harm to individuals homes.
One of the main reasons that termites can be so damaging is that by the time that many homeowners discover the infestation, acute damage has already been done. A termite infestation is like cancer; detect it early and chances are pretty good, grab it late and the treatment will be painful and intensive. .
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Because of this, it's extremely important that you learn how to spot the signs of a termite infestation. Keep a look out for the following:
If you see a swarm of winged termites near or around your home, thats a sure sign that a termite colony is nearby. Much like winged ants, these winged termites are more likely to swarm around a light source. Additionally they look rather similar, and also the layperson will not be able to tell them apart. .
Termite swarmers dont keep their wings for long. Once they lose their wings, they're in search of areas to construct new nests.
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If you notice little piles of lost swarmers wings on areas like window sills, or caught in spider webs, then there may be a termite colony nearby; or even one about to begin.
Mud tubes are small tunnels made by termites to transport food back to their colony. Source: masseyservices.com
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In look at this site case you have a subterranean termite infestation, you will find these tubes in the foundations of your house or in its own substructure.
As subterranean termites eat through the wood of your house, they create termite galleries. These are the empty spaces left in the wood as they burrow through it. Normally, termite galleries run parallel to the grain of this wood.
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Drywood termites leave behind their fecal droppings as they munch through the wood in your house. Their droppings, known as frass, are pellet-shaped, and look like thick grains of sand or sawdust. Should you find mounds of termite droppings in and around your home, you probably have a drywood termite infestation. .
Termites will eat your home from the inside out; thats what makes them so insidious. A bit of wood could look perfectly normal on the outside but be completely infested with termites on the inside. If you imagine a termite infestation at a certain place, tap or puncture the timber to find out if its hollow.
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Coupled with different signs of termite infestation, swollen wooden floorboards can mean there is termite damage underneath them.
Termites like dark and moist areas. Thats why they live just under the surface of the wood and bring in moisture into their termite galleries. This moisture can often cause the wood to swell. If you have termites in your wooden floors, the floors will probably begin to swell. Similarly, the moisture can also cause the paint on wooden surfaces to bubble or peel; especially if the termites have eaten all the way up into the paint coating. .
Since these signs are similar to the signs of general water leaks (since theyre both caused by moisture), be sure that you rule out any water flows first. In case you've determined that water leaks are not the cause, you can inspect further by seeing whether the wood has become hollow.