Termites damage about $600,000 homes in the U.S. every year. And homeowners spend approximately $5 billion every year to pay for termite damage. Determining signs of termites is almost impossible unless you have a full-scale infestation. While it is crucial for termites to be taken care of through a pest and termite inspection, understanding what to look out for will be advantageous for homeowners.
Here are 4 things Exterminators check during termite inspections:
- Evidence of Swarmers
The most prominent varieties of termites in the U.S. are subterranean termites. Established termite colonies produce winged, mature adults called alates. They fly off once they mature to create their own nests once the spring sets in. All alateat are released at once in swarms that scatter immediately. If you find multiple winged termites in your home, chances are there are termite nests near your home and it’s feeding off your wood.
- Mud Tubes
Subterranean termites create mud tubes that function as bridges between their colony and wood they feed on. These tubes are created from minute pieces of wood, soil, and debris that conserve moisture and protect the colony from predators.
- Mud in Construction Joints
Termites are great little builders that seal small gaps using soil to create a protected layer as they may their way to your home. You may not find tubes and instead crushed dirt near the hinges of your doors. This is still a sign of the presence of termites finding their way to the nearest piece of wooden furniture.
- Wood in Your Landscape
While this may not be the perfect indicator of termite presence in your home, making sure you look out for these signs will be an added advantage during a pest and termite inspection.
Here are some areas in your home you should pay attention to for termite activity:
- Wood fencing adjacent to your house
Termites often use the wood fencing of your house as the beginning of their food source journey. So make sure you check for termites when you head out for your morning run.
- Wood mulch within 4 to 6 inches of your home’s foundation
Wood mulch is a great food source for termites. Additionally, they use it as a protective layer as they nibble their way to your home.
If you’re laying out the firewood in the backyard, you’re welcoming uninvited guests to picnic in your backyard. But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a winter evening with your family. To prevent termites from making their way to the firewood, keep the wood off the ground and at least 20 feet from your home.
Tree limbs fall off naturally and removing them from your property is a good practice. Tree branches and limbs often lead to termite infestation. So make sure you discard it.
- Wooden Structures
To keep termites off the exteriors of buildings such as decks, sheds, playsets and arbors, termite-resistant wood is used.
- Wood Damage
Termites feed on wood from the inside. And this damage typically doesn’t surface. A pest and termite inspection will help to identify if the wood is hollower than it should be on the inside.In cases of excessive damage, you may find bits of mud in termite-infested wood. You may also notice a burrow with deep parallel grooves. Termites love feeding on soft spring-growth sections instead of hardwood. This will help you determine the presence of termite activity.