They’re responsible for $5 billion in property damage each year, and chances are, they’d love to add your home to their menu. Termites make their homes in 49 of the 50 states and can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to yours. The best way to protect yourself from termites and their monstrous appetites is to implement preventive practices and engage in early detection.
Signs of Termites
While you may be doing your best to prevent termites, an infestation is still possible. Here are a few signs to watch for so you can act quickly if they make their way into your home.
If you find wings near windows, doors, or along floorboards, you may have an invasion of termites coming your way. Termites develop wings and use them to fly from their nest to their new home and feeding ground. Termites will twist their wings off intentionally because they no longer need them to travel. Discarded wings are a sign of a termite invasion, and if you find them, it’s best to contact an exterminator.
If you find small piles of something that resembles salt or pepper, you may have a termite problem. If termites are living and eating in your home, they will be defecating there, too. These droppings are known as frass and can be found in mounds outside of the termite’s living space in your home. If you notice these piles, you’ll want to call a professional exterminator right away.
You may actually see a termite swarm outside or inside your home. These swarms typically occur in the spring, when termites are seeking mates. Reproductive swarms may also result in discarded wings.
You may actually stumble across the termite colony in your yard or home. Termite colonies can be found in the soil and also in any wooden structure—live, dead, or even rotting. If you find a termite colony, contact an exterminator. If there are termites on your property, there will soon be termites in your home.
Evidence of Infestation
If you notice pencil-sized mud tubes along your floor or walls, it’s likely that you have active termites in your home. Termites build these tunnels to maintain their desired temperature and humidity levels. You’ll find them wherever they have been actively working.
Damaged or Hollow Wood
If wood in your home is damaged or sounds hollow, it’s likely that there are active termites in your home. Wood and wood products are the primary dietary choice for termites. They feast on and make their homes in the wood on your property. If left unchecked, the damage can become extensive.
Cracked or Distorted Paint
Cracked or distorted paint on your walls, floorboards, or other wooden objects may be an indication of active termites. Termites will destroy anything in the way of their meal—the wood and cellulose products in your home.
Discolored or Drooping Drywall
If you find discolored or drooping drywall in your home, it’s likely that you are dealing with active termites. As mentioned before, while wood is the primary sustenance for termites, they also feed on other cellulose-based products; your drywall and its paperboard make a great snack.
If you are concerned that your home is at risk for termites or if you need a termite inspection in the Des Moines area, contact Springer. Set up your free inspection today!