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Last updated: June 11, 2018 Out of all of the pests that homeowners face, you will find none that are as expensive and as damaging as termites. These insects feed on cellulose, the organic fibrous material in timber and plants, meaning that they will literally eat your residence, so youll need to eliminate them fast. .
There are two main techniques termites may come to infest your home (assuming they werent already there in the first place); by air and through the ground.
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Even 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 shed their wings, split out a little 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 house via its foundations. As these termites forage for food, they could stumble upon a rich new food source your house. 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 damage to peoples homes.
One of the main reasons that termites can be so damaging is the time that many homeowners discover the infestation, severe damage has already been done. A termite infestation is like cancer; notice it early and chances are pretty good, grab it late and the treatment will likely be painful and intensive. .
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Therefore, it is very important that you learn to identify 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 very likely to swarm around a light source. They also seem rather 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 caught in spider webs, then there may be a termite colony nearby; or one going to begin.
Mud tubes are small tunnels built 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 at the foundations of your home or in its substructure.
As subterranean termites eat through the wood of your dwelling, they produce termite galleries. These are the empty spaces left in the wood page as they float through it. Normally, 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 timber in your house. Their droppings, known as frass, are pellet-shaped, and look like thick grains of sand or sawdust. If you find mounds of termite droppings in and around your home, you likely have a drywood termite infestation. .
Termites will eat your home from the inside out; thats what makes them so insidious. A piece of wood could look absolutely normal on the outside but be completely infested with termites on the inside. If you suspect that a termite infestation at a certain area, tap or puncture the timber to see whether its hollow.
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Coupled with different signs of termite infestation, swollen wooden floorboards can mean that there is termite damage underneath them.
Termites like dark and moist locations. 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 start to swell. Similarly, the moisture can also result in the paint on wooden surfaces to bubble or peel; particularly if the termites have eaten all the way up into the paint coating. .
Since these signs are similar to the signs of general water flows (since theyre both caused by moisture), be certain that you rule out any water flows first. If you've determined that water escapes are not the cause, you can inspect further by seeing her latest blog if the wood is now hollow.