Tiny white colored insects, termites have soft bodies and their food source is wood. Drywood and subterranean are the two species of termites. Both live in colonies that form a society. When termites mature, they develop wings, become reproductive and then create a swarm. This moving crowd then initiates a new settlement. Swarms are attracted to light. In few species, they move about during the day and in other during the night. It is to be noted that drywood termites only swarm after it rains at a specific point in a year.
Signs Of Termites In Furniture – Looking Inside A Home
Signs that termites have infested your home are given below. They are categorized to make it easier to spot them.
As per species:
They mold homes inside wood by eating it and making clean tunnels. These galleries have a “kick out hole” from which they eliminate wood excrement. It is this fecal matter called frass which is the sign you need to look out. It looks like rigid pellets of salt or pepper. Generally, they are light brown in the shade. If you locate mounds of sawdust or ground up coffee near wood furniture, it is a sign of invasion.
These types of termites build nests underground. They come up only to look for food which happens to be inside a home. Their indication is mud tubes, seen anywhere near or in a home, that are pencil-sized. Mostly the pipes will be found climbing up a wall where the house and the ground join.
Signs Of Termites In Wood:
- Blisters in wooden flooring mean termites are beneath it.
- Termites eat the cellulose present in the wood. This causes damage to it and formation of hollow grooves with only the thinnest layer left behind. Any wood damage you see on walls, ceilings, floors, etc. is a for-sure signal. The harm can be to such an extent that the wood crumbles.
- A wood floor that squeaks because the polish has been eaten by termites.
- If wood feels papery, then it has been utterly eaten away by termites. The only thing left is the top “veneer of timber” or paint. It may cause buckling of laminated or wooden floors.
- Cracks, holes, and gaps have appeared on wood furniture and frames in the house.
Signs Of Termites In Walls
- Paint that peeling away as if due to water damage is a warning.
- Walls that have weakened and give a faded appearance or are drooping are perfect indicators of termites.
- Miniscule holes in drywall are symptoms of termites. Since they prefer to make honeycomb structures inside walls and wood, they rarely come to the surface which makes these small gaps the only early warning of the insects.
- Maze-like patterns appear in base walls or joints of the wall. They can also happen in floors and furniture.
- A sound of tapping can be heard from inside of walls or wooden structures. The noise is produced when a termite hits its head along with the mandibles on the wood to signal others.
- If you are searching for signs of termites in ceiling, look for cracks. When termites eat timber that holds the house, the wood shifts which results in fractures. In extreme cases, roofs may sag and buckle.
Other Miscellaneous Signs:
- Tiles on the floor or wall are loose because termites have added moisture content to it.
- Doorways and window frames are sticking or have become warped much like in rainy season. They are hard to close and even harder to open. Again it is due to the increase in moisture level which happens due to termite activity.
- Symptoms of slight water damage to any of the following are really the work of termites:
- Picture Frames
- Window Trims
- Floors And Ceilings
- Piles of discarded wings are signal of termites coming out of a nest to mate. These wings will be found near windows or doors that were barred. Any other entrance to the home will have similar piles, therefore check attics. The wings are translucent and shed by swarming termites after finding a mate and landing to start a new colony.
- Appearance of white ants is actually symptom of a termite problem. What we think as an ant is a termite that we spot from the corner of the eye. Please keep in mind that there is no insect called white ant.
Signs Of Termites In Yard – Searching Outside A Home
Up till this point, we explained things that herald termites within a dwelling. Now we talk about signs of termites sawdust outside a home.
Termites, especially subterranean ones, love to nest near tree trunks and root crowns. If not here, then they infest the trunk of the tree or central hollow part of the rood. This leads to the formation of blowholes. If the colony is particularly active, then big chunks of mud will appear.
Just like mud tubes develop inside a residence, mud tunnels will be seen in backyards and lawns. Subterranean termites build these tunnels using mud, saliva and fecal matter to reach water and sustenance. This happens if they cannot make underground mazes or chew through building material like bricks and concrete.
If you see a hill of salt and pepper looking hills near tree stumps, be aware of termites. These are a pile of feces that are excreted as pellets by drywood termites.
Some termites construct their nests on trees that are visible to use as “ugly grey ulcers.” If you see such arboreal nests in plants in your garden, then they are warnings of termite infestation. They are less risky to use as they don’t tend to eat timber used in houses.
While swarmers mostly stay within the limits of a building, they can be noticed in yards too. If you spot a crowd of termites flying, then do not panic. Just look for a nest close to the location.
The Utmost Vitality Of Spotting Termites
Although infinitesimal, termites can cause escalating and humungous damage to the biggest of buildings. They keep us locked between a rock and a hard place because discovering them at an early stage is almost impossible. Both species of termites burrow deep in wood or within the ground. It means they are left undetected for a long, long time. By the point they become visible, almost irreparable damage to the home has been done which is not covered by insurance. Be a step ahead and save yourself thousands of bucks by being aware of the all the warnings we have listed above. It will also help you solve the conundrum of why cracks are appearing on structural points of the home.