Termites are one of every homeowner’s greatest fears – and with good reason. They cause over $5 billion in property damage every year, according to the National Pest Management Association. Worst of all, these tiny pests can remain hidden for years as they slowly devour your home from the inside out.
To protect what’s probably your largest investment, not to mention the home in which you raise your family, it’s wise to periodically conduct a simple, low-technology inspection of your home using three of your five senses.
What Can You See?
Termites have straight, rectangular bodies with straight antennae and four equal-sized wings that are about twice as long as their body. While it may be difficult to determine if you have termites because they’re so small, they do leave the following tell-tale signs that you can look for.
- Walk the perimeter of your home and look for pencil-sized subterranean mud tubes along your foundation. These are the passageways that termites build to travel safely from the outdoors into your home.
- In the spring or early summer, depending on the breed, an established colony of termites will swarm. They do this to mate and to start new colonies. Swarming lasts only an hour or two. If you have a bad infestation, they will swarm out of your walls into a room in your home. If you see a swarm outside, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have them in your home.
- Termite wings are delicate and break off easily. Termites often lose them after they mate. Look for a small pile of wings on your porch or near your home. If you find some, save a few, so a termite control specialist can make a positive identification.
- Inspect your basement and window sills for termite droppings, which look like a dark powdery substance. Termites will push their feces out of small holes near the entrance to their nest.
What Can You Hear?
- This is a tougher task because the noise a termite itself makes is quite faint. If you place a glass to wood as a makeshift stethoscope, you might hear them. When they’re disturbed, they communicate by banging their heads against their tunnel walls.
- You can also hear the damage that termites have caused to your wood by tapping. If there’s damage, you’ll hear a hollow sound.
What Can You Touch?
- Termites leave the outer layer of wood intact and eat their way through the inside. If you push on exposed wood, such as beams, moldings or window trims, it might feel paper thin or even puncture if you have an advanced infestation.
If you suspect that termites are damaging your home, it’s best to call for a termite inspection right away. We use natural and traditional termite control methods to eliminate termites. In addition to our expertise in natural termite treatment, Ecola can kill ants, bed bugs and roaches. We also handle rodent control. Call us today for your free termite inspection at 1-800-332-2847 or quote over the phone for pest control.
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