Before Getting a Termite Inspection, Here Some Signs To Look For.
The one word that strikes horror into the hearts of every homeowner is termites. They’re about the size of an ant, and they are actually in the ant family. They are white with powerful mouths that can eat through solid wood. These little buggers need warmth, moisture and wood in order to survive. The three types of termite are drywood, dampwood and subterranean. Drywood and dampwood termites aren’t as common, and they can’t survive in a humid atmosphere. Subterranean termites, however, exist everywhere except Alaska. Even the White House has been victimized by termites. Here’s how to tell if you need termite treatment.
This is often the first indication a homeowner has termites. Many people simply don’t know what they’re seeing, but the bugs swarm up out of the ground (they are called subterranean, after all) in the spring looking for a new home. They live in colonies of up to a million, and once a year they will scout out the turf looking for a new place to live. When this happens, it’s best to call for help just in case the bugs find a new home in yours.
All Time’s Up Termites experts will tell homeowners to search for anything wood around the house. Termites love mulch, the wood heap, brush, leftover scraps from building, wooden play equipment, decks, fences and anything else made of wood. Whatever wood is closest to the house, get rid of it. Then call the experts, because chances are the bugs have gotten into your house.
3. Water Sources
Remember that termites need water to survive like all life does. If the water taps outside the house drip, clean it up. If the HVAV unit sits close to the house, keep an eye on it for pooling water. Homeowners with window air conditioners need to keep an eye on puddling water at the base close to the foundation. Gutters and downspouts that don’t lead far enough away from the house should be reconfigured to keep termites away from the house.
4. Hollowed Trees and Wood
Many trees die from termite infestation along with other bacteria and manners of decay. Homeowners should inspect their trees, especially any small trees and shrubs up against the house for decay. Tapping on the wood should give off a hollow sound. Taking a pen or a screwdriver and chipping away at the wood will give you a good idea of its status. If the wood chips away, call for help. Normal healthy wood doesn’t chip.
It sounds odd, but termites build tunnels across your yard. They need warm, moist tight places to live and travel, so they build a subway across your land. If you see these tunnels, tap into a portion of one. It should look like a pen’s tubing, complete and solid. Then check your house for dirt. Termites live in it, so they carry it on their bodies and into your house. When you see dirt, it might not be blown there by a wind and rainstorm.
Remember that termites live in colonies. Some split off and find new territory. They can travel quite a ways to get to your house, for example from your next door neighbor or from the school down the road.
Police your yard and your house, because they can get into your furniture, deck furniture and anything else that is wood. They live on cellulose, so keep cardboard away from the house, too. Please contact us for help if you notice any of these signs of an infestation.