There are two types of termites – the subterranean termites and drywood termites. The subterranean termites live underground while the drywood termites live within wooden structures. Both these species are quite discreet and it would take a keen or informed eye to detect an infestation.
A termite infestation can lead to structural damage which will not only cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair, but may also lower your property’s value. In addition to this, damaged wooden structure can render your property unsafe to live in, especially when there is an unchecked severe termite infestation.
It is advised that you take action as soon as you notice termites on your property to avoid financial loss and associated problems. But just how do you tell when there is an infestation when the creatures in subject are so discreet?
Common Signs that You have Termites
Termites make their nests in damp, dark and warm areas. In order to detect an infestation, you’d have to first understand the signs to keep an eye out for.
Termite Swarmers Wings -Termites are tiny white or grey soft-bodied insects that live most of their lives in cryptic environments. When they are ready to reproduce, termites will grow wings and fly off to start other colonies. A mature termite has four wings and will often come out when the rains start. They soon shed their wings before going back into the ground to start new colonies. If you notice tiny piles of wings on your window sills, spider webs and other parts of your home, chances are that you have an infestation or are about to get one.
Mud Pipes – Termites are cryptic creatures which means that they don’t often come out in the open. You may however notice mud pipes along the ground and walls. If you crack the mud pipes, you’ll often come across hundreds of termites which will more often than not try to bite you. Their bite is not poisonous but can be very painful due to the large jaws that they use to tear through wood.
Termite Droppings – Another sign to look out for is termite droppings. Termites leave behind frass and droppings after consuming wood. If you notice either of the two, it is an indication that you might have an infestation.
Blow Holes in Trees and Wood – Both the subterranean and drywood termites are known to start colonies inside tree trunks, roots and trunks. They leave openings on the surface which they use to come in and out food or when they are threatened. Most of these openings are clearly visible while others may require a keen eye to identify.
Head Banging – When termites feel threatened, they will tap their heads on the ground in order to alert the rest of the colony. This tapping can be heard a meter or two away from the nest. You can track the sound by tapping on walls or ground surfaces as they usually respond to this.
How to Get Rid of Termites
Once you notice the common signs that you have termites, the best move would be to hire a professional. However, there are steps you can take to prevent an infestation. For starters, get rid of dead wood around your home’s foundation. It would also be ideal to address any moisture buildup around your home to avoid attracting any more termites.
When hiring a professional to help get rid of an infestation, consider whether they are qualified for the job and also find out the methods they use. Find out whether they use environmentally friendly products and also whether the techniques and technologies they use is modern.
You may also want to compare cost between different service providers, such as this Atlanta termite control option, before investing in any of the services you come across. Finally, in addition to ensuring the service provider is licensed and insured, it would be wise to read reviews on the various services you come across before making a decision.