5 Ways to Tell if You Have Termites & How to Fix the Problem

Flowers aren’t the only things that arrive with spring. As the sun warms the earth, you can see both plant and insect growth. Termites, however, are one insect that remain hidden. Although they don’t hibernate, spring is typically the time of year when they look for new areas to colonize. Subterranean termites can move up into your home through tiny cracks in the foundation, while dry wood termites can find their way inside around cracks in doors, windows, and many other access points. Termite infestations cost homeowners an estimated $5 billion in damage each year, so looking for hints of their presence is a top priority. Here are five signs that you may have termites:

1. Swarming and Discarded Wings

Once the weather warms, a typical termite colony sends out a swarm of winged explorers to mate and begin new colonies. If you see flying termites nearby, they are house-hunting. If you don’t see the actual swarm, look for small piles of discarded wings, which they shed upon move-in.

2. Hollow-Sounding Wood

Because they consume wood by beginning on the inside and work outward, you may hear a hollow sound when you knock on the walls. They can eat through the wooden frame to the very paint on your wall, which you may discover by accident by putting a finger in the wrong spot.

3. Tunnels Inside Wood

It is difficult to see the interior tunnels of a colony without removing a cross-section of wood, which is something you may not want to do. Take advantage of any repair work or home renovation project to take a good look at exposed timber, as well as any rafters that are vulnerable.

4. Exterior Tunnels

To protect themselves from predators, subterraneous termites build mud tunnels to travel between their nest and the food source in your walls. Look for tube-like shapes the same size as a pencil along walls both inside and outside the home.

5. Termite Droppings

Termites push their waste outside of the tunnel structure and nests. If you see a small pile of what appears to be flakes of pepper, it may be termite droppings or frass.

How to Fix the Problem

There are several methods of do-it- yourself termite control involving a lot of labor, expense, and ongoing vigilance. Some products do an efficient job. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll get all of the termites or that new colonies won’t move in.

The best way to eliminate termites and prevent future invasions is by working with a professional San Antonio exterminator, such as Terminix. They can evaluate the problem and suggest one of three control methods:
  • Bait traps placed in strategic locations to lure and trap pests
  • Liquid spray around the perimeter of the home to repel foragers
  • Fumigation, or tenting, to reach termites inside the walls of your home

Specific treatments will depend on the scope of your infestation, as well as the type of termite. Local termite inspectors may even suggest a combination of treatments.

If you suspect termites are in your home, taking quick action can help contain the cost of repairs.

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