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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 techniques termites can come to infest your home (assuming they werent already there in the first place); by air and through the ground.
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A drywood termite infestation typically takes place 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 tiny 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 house via its foundations. Because these termites forage for food, they could stumble upon a rich new food supply your home. Subterranean termites commonly build mud tunnels over foundation walls to get the wooden areas 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 peoples homes.
One of the main reasons that termites can be so damaging is the time that many homeowners find the infestation, acute damage has already been done. A termite infestation is similar to cancer; notice it early and chances are very good, catch it late and the treatment will likely be painful and intensive. .
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Therefore, it is very 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 house, theres a sure sign that a termite colony is nearby. Similar to winged ants, these winged termites are more likely to swarm around a light source. They also look quite similar, and also the layperson will not be able to tell them apart. .
Termite swarmers dont maintain their wings for long. Once they shed their wings, they're in search of areas to build new nests.
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If you notice little piles of discarded swarmers wings on areas like window sills, or captured in spider webs, then there might be a termite colony nearby; or 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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If you've got a subterranean termite infestation, you will find these tubes in the foundations of your house or in its substructure.
As subterranean termites eat through the wood of your house, they create termite galleries. These will be the empty spaces left in the wood as they burrow through it. Normally, termite galleries run parallel to the grain of this timber.
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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 seem like thick grains of sand or sawdust. If you find mounds of termite droppings in and around your house, you probably have a drywood termite infestation. .
Termites will eat your house from the inside out; thats what makes them so insidious. A bit of wood could seem perfectly normal on the outside but be completely infested with termites on the inside. If you suspect that a termite infestation at a certain place, tap or puncture the timber to see 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 enjoy dark and moist areas. Thats why more tips here they live just below 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 likely start to swell. Similarly, the moisture can also cause the paint on wooden surfaces to peel or bubble; particularly if the termites have eaten all of the way up to the paint coating. .
Since these signs are similar to the signs of general water leaks (since theyre either due to moisture), make certain that you rule out any water flows first. In case you've determined that water escapes are not the cause, you can inspect further by seeing whether the timber is now hollow.