We have been seeing an influx of termite infestations here in Arizona. From Gilbert to Phoenix and Glendale, termites have invaded the valley. Part of the problem is that homeowners aren’t being diligent enough to seek out termite symptoms and signs of a termite problem until it’s too late.
Termites will hide within the walls of your home, but there are nearly always signs and symptoms of a termite problem.
Today, let’s talk about some of the termites that might be living in your home right now, and what to do about it…
This termite species is extremely common in southern states and hotter climates. Subterranean termites live in underground colonies with as many as two million members and are also found in moist, secluded areas above ground. They build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species — their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner.
Signs of a Termite Problem
Symptom of Termite: Discarded Wings
What To Look For: Wings all of the same size (look like tiny fish scales) shredded near an entry point to your home.
Swarmers are usually winged and as a part of their behavior, they usually discard their wings in places like windowsills, doors or in cobwebs.
Symptom of Termite: Mud Tubes
What To Look For: Mud tubes are usually built by Subterranean termites, which are the most destructive species. As they move out from their colony in search of food, they build mud tubes to provide moisture. These mud tubes are often found near the foundation of the home, so those places should also be checked regularly.
Symptom of Termite: Wood Damage
What To Look For: Termites often eat wood from the inside out thereby making the wood soft. The damage may not be visible on the outside. The wood’s surface might still appear smooth even if termites are causing damage from inside. So if the wood sounds hollow when tapped, it may be because termites are eating the wood from the inside.
Symptom of Termite: Cracked Paint
What To Look For: Swarming drywood termites can enter through very tiny openings. Always try to cover up cracks in the home’s foundation, near roof siding, vents and windows. If your paint is cracking, it means there is moisture build up in it which could be as a result of either water damage or termite problems.
Symptom of Termite: Frass
What To Look For: As Drywood termites infest wood, they leave behind wood-colored droppings called frass. You can prevent this by keeping gutters and crawl spaces free of debris and cellulose materials so that termites don’t use them as sources of food.
Symptom of Termite: Noise
What To Look For: Some species of termites, like the soldier termites, usually make loud noises while eating or while trying to sound alarm to warn others of impending danger. The soldier termites make a banging noise with their heads on the wood to serve as an alarm to alert others. So if you tap on a piece of wood where you suspect termites, and you hear a loud banging sound, then there is termite infestation in your home.