Signs Of Termites
Subterranean termites are a billion-dollar problem in the United States. The reason they are so destructive is connected to the way they do damage. Termites don't crawl all over your walls and eat your home in front of you. They come up from the ground and devour the wood of your home from the inside out. They do this silently, with little or no visible signs. So, we don't recommend that anyone wait to see signs of termites but, if you're curious what signs they leave and where they leave them, here's what you need to know.
When tiny black insects with long white wings start crawling on the outside of a home, homeowners know it is time to call a pest control company. What they often don't know is that those swarmers are not a warning of an impending termite infestation. They are a sign that there is an active and mature infestation on the property, or somewhere nearby. Termite swarms do not last long and they don't travel very far. If you see swarms on your home, there is a good chance your home already has damage, and discovering termites after they've already done damage isn't a very good way to protect your equity.
Subterranean termites are moisture pests. If they dry out, they die. For this reason, they must create mud tubes on foundation walls to get up to the wood of a home. But, before you start thinking that you can just do a routine check for mud tubes to keep your home safe, there are a few things you should understand about mud tubes.
- Termites prefer to build tubes in shaded areas. This protects them from the sun as they build. That means mud tubes are more likely to be found in hard-to-see locations underneath porches, decks, patios, and other external structures, rather than out in the open.
- Homes that have cracks in foundation walls can give worker termites access to build mud tubes on the inside walls, as well as the wall voids of exterior walls. This can make them hard or impossible to see.
- If a home has areas where the wood of the home touches soil, there is no need for termites to build mud tubes at all.
When termites damage a home, the damage often goes unnoticed or misdiagnosed. Here are a few reasons why:
- Termite damage is usually subtle. One example of this is the way termites will tunnel through wood, eat through sheetrock, and stop short of chewing through wallpaper. This leaves the wallpaper intact, and the sign of termite damage hidden beneath. Termites will also feed on baseboards without chewing through the surface. This can make beams look fine on the outside, while the inside of the wood is filled with hollow tunnels.
- Termite damage is usually hidden. Since subterranean termites are moisture pests, the only time they feed outside of wood is in locations that are dark or damp. That means you have to squeeze into tight spaces, crawl through the muck, and bring a flashlight if you want to find exposed termite damage.
- As a house gets older, it will usually settle. This may cause windows or doors to stick, and floors to sink down. But these could also be signs of termites.
- When walls begin to bulge, wallpaper begins to bubble, or baseboards start to have honeycomb-like dents, this damage can be mistaken for water damage. And when no source for the water damage is found, the problem can be put on the back burner till it develops into something far worse.
Signs of subterranean termites can be so subtle they have eluded the eye of certified home inspectors. It is never a good idea to wait till you see signs of termites. Every home should have ongoing, always active, termite protection.
If you're in our Oklahoma service area, and you have questions about termite control, or you'd like to establish termite protection for your home, reach out to Montgomery Exterminating. We are a Certified Operator of the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ which monitors for termite activity so you don't have to. There is no better way to protect your home and your equity than with Sentricon® with Always Active™.