One important job you have as a homeowner is to protect your house from termite damage. The best way to do that is with regular inspections. When you pick up on signs of an infestation early, you can have your home treated before the pests do a lot of expensive damage. Whether you hire a professional to inspect your home or do it yourself, these are the things to look for.
It's likely the main termite nest is in your yard, or even a neighbor's yard somewhere. The termites travel underground in tunnels to get to your home. When they reach your foundation, they build mud tunnels to travel through so they won't be exposed to the air as they search for an entry point into your home. You can watch for these mud tunnels as you go about your usual yard maintenance activities throughout the year.
Look for them near the base of your house. They connect the earth to the wood frame of your home by crossing over concrete blocks and slabs. When you spot one of these tunnels, you should call a termite exterminator as soon as you can. However, if you never see a mud tunnel, it doesn't mean your home is free from termites, because the pests have other ways of getting inside when they are determined to do so.
Another thing you'll want to check regularly is the wood around doors, window frames, and the base of your home. If it shows signs of decay, you might have a termite problem. The problem could also be carpenter ants or decay from humidity. If termites are the problem, you'll see tunnels dug into the wood along with small bits of wood particles on the floor nearby. When you tap on the wood, it will sound dull compared to sounds you hear when tapping on healthy wood. You can try pressing on the wood with a screwdriver, too. The screwdriver shouldn't penetrate the wood unless it is damaged or decayed. A professional can take wood samples from your home and help you determine whether the damage is caused by termites.
Wings And Bodies
One sure way to tell if you have termites is when you see their wings or bodies in your home. You may see winged termites flying around your television or other source of light at night. There may be bodies or wings on the window sills that collect there as the bugs try to get out of your house. Termites send out swarms of the flying pests when it's time to search out a new nest. When you see lots of wings and bodies around your yard or home, it's a sign of an active infestation somewhere nearby. However, termites can be present for a long time before they swarm, so just because you never see one of the bugs, it doesn't mean your home is in the clear.
If you suspect you have termites in your home, it's better to be safe and call in a professional for a thorough inspection and treatment. An exterminator can even set traps in your yard to use as monitoring stations that give you a more accurate warning of when the pests are active around your home. Early protection saves you from costly repairs to damaged wood and helps you protect the value of your home. Click here to learn more about obtaining a termite inspection.