Termites are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. You never know when they’re going to strike or if the walls are going to suddenly start crumbling down around you. Having a termite inspection done annually is generally recommended and can give you the peace of mind that you aren’t under attack. However, even though a professional termite inspector will know what to look for, it won’t always be a foolproof way to keep the termites at bay. Because the wood-eating pests are silent and virtually invisible, it can take several visits from an expert to determine that they’ve invaded a home. There are a few things that you should watch out for between termite inspections to eliminate any problems before you realize the structure and furniture around you is slowly diminishing from a complete infestation.
Hollowed, Buckling or Blistered Wood
The reason termites are so hard to detect is because they stay in damp, dark environments that allow them to hide their damaging activity. This means you won’t initially see any destruction on the surface of walls or doors because the wood is being devoured from the inside. Take the time to knock or lightly tap along the wood components in your home every now and then to check for a hollow sound coming from within. Buckling in drywall panels or the appearance of blistering wood are also strong indicators of a termite situation.
Swelling Near Door and Window Openings/Sagging or Curling Floors
When termites have attacked a home they usually don’t leave much area uncovered. Most elements of a structure have the potential to become a feast if the pests are left unexposed for long enough. If you notice doors and windows have become harder to close, don’t fit into their designated spaces anymore or are sticking, then there’s a good chance termites are eating their way around the door jambs and window framings. Carpeting and hardwood floors are definitely not any safer from the threat of being consumed. Floors that are sagging, carpets with holes and even laminated tiles that are curling could all be signs of termites.
Mud tubes are at the top of the list of things to check for during a termite inspection. These tunnels are a means of transportation for termites to get back and forth between your house and their colony with food to share. They can be found on exterior walls, near windows or sometimes on interior ceilings. Mud tubes aren’t formed on their own, so at this point you’ll know there’s a situation to be dealt with and the experts must be called in to assess just what damage has already been done.
Most homeowners already know to look for rodent excrement if they want to control a pest problem of that kind, but they may not know that termites leave behind little signals of their arrival as well. Finding these pellet-like droppings in your home, and especially around wood, should solicit more extensive research.
If you’re lucky enough to view termites as they’re in swarming mode looking for a new colony, you may be able to ward off any serious damage to a structure before they get settled. Being proactive right away may allow for the area around your home to be treated and deter an infestation.
At the first indication or sinking feeling that there could be an infestation in your home you will want to call for a professional termite inspection. It’s definitely not something you want to take a chance and wait on or you might be very depressed at the outcome.
About the Author
Tiffany Olson hails from Northern California and writes regularly on pest control problems and solutions. When she’s not blogging you’ll usually find her hanging out with friends, reading a good book, or cooking up something special.
August 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm Comment (1)