Termites can cause a significant amount of damage to your biggest asset – your home. Damage can be minor to major, up to and including structural damage. Because the damage can be so extensive, it’s important that you know what to look for in order to avoid the high cost of repairing the damage that termites can cause.
Termite colonies have different categories of workers, similar to ants. If you’ve got termites, the first thing you may notice is the swarmers. They look a little like winged ants with a thick middle and straight antennae. Swarmers have left their colony looking to start their own.
The problem with swarmers is that you may see a couple of individuals but not see the swarm. When they find a place to mate and start colonies, their wings fall off. The places to look for wings are where they are likely to congregate – in spider webs and corners of window sills, just to name a couple.
Wood damaged by termites sounds hollow when you knock on it. If you think it may be termite damaged, you might even be able to push your finger through the affected piece.
Cracked wood surfaces
Swarmers can enter wood through very small openings. Make sure to look for cracks in your home’s foundation, near roof siding, vents and windows. Make sure to seal any cracks.
Termites build air-tight mud tubes out of soil and plant life to protect themselves from sunlight. Check the foundation of your home around joists and beams for mud tubes, which will be a brownish color and about a centimeter in diameter.
Frass is the droppings produced by drywood termites as they eat their way through infested wood.
Termites pose a serious threat to your biggest investment – your home. If you’re considering selling your home, a positive termite inspection can cost you a sale.
If you spot any of the signs, call an exterminator immediately to analyze the extent of the damage. A termite specialist will recommend a customized treatment and prevention plan, which may include liquid repellants, wood treatments, baits and fumigation of the entire structure. It is absolutely essential that you not let a colony become established in your home.