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Last updated: June 11, 2018 Outside of all of the pests which homeowners face, there are none that are as costly and as damaging as termites. These insects feed on cellulose, the organic fibrous material in wood and plants, meaning that they will literally eat your house, so youll need to eliminate them fast. .
There are two main ways that termites can come to infest your home (assuming they werent already there in the first place); from atmosphere 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 shed their wings, carve out a tiny nest, and begin laying eggs to initiate 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 wealthy new food supply your house. Subterranean termites commonly build mud tunnels over foundation walls to get the wooden parts of the construction.
Note: While there are other species of termites, these are the two most common species responsible for the majority of the harm to peoples homes.
One of the main reasons that termites can be so damaging is that by the time that many homeowners discover the infestation, severe damage has already been done. A termite infestation is like cancer; detect it early and chances are very good, grab it late and the treatment will probably likely be painful and intensive. .
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Therefore, it's very important that you learn how to spot the signs of a termite infestation. Keep a look out to the following:
If you see a swarm of winged termites near or around your house, thats a sure sign that a termite colony is nearby. Similar to winged ants, these winged termites are more very likely to swarm around a light source. Additionally they seem rather similar, and the layperson will not be able to tell them apart. .
Termite swarmers dont maintain their wings long. Once they shed their wings, they're in search of areas to construct 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 going to begin.
Mud tubes are little tunnels made by termites to transport food back to their own colony. Source: masseyservices.com
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In case you have a subterranean termite infestation, you will find these tubes at the foundations of your home or in its substructure.
As subterranean termites eat through the timber of your house, they create termite galleries. These are the empty spaces left in the wood as they burrow through it. Typically, termite galleries run parallel to the grain of the 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 seem like thick grains of sand or sawdust. If you find mounds of termite droppings in and around your home, 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 look perfectly normal on the outside but be absolutely infested with termites on the inside. If you imagine a termite infestation at a certain area, tap or puncture the timber to see whether its hollow.
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Coupled with this post other signs of termite infestation, swollen wooden floorboards can mean that there is termite damage underneath them.
Termites enjoy dark and moist areas. Thats the reason 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. In case you have termites in your wooden floors, the floors will likely begin to swell. Likewise the moisture can also result in the paint on wooden surfaces to peel or bubble; particularly if the termites have eaten all the way up into the paint coating. .
As these signs are similar to the signs of general water flows (since theyre both caused by moisture), make certain that you rule out any water leaks first. In case you've determined that water leaks are not the cause, you can inspect further by seeing if the wood is now hollow.