Termites are one of the most dreaded challenges you might face as a property owner. Unfortunately, many people fail to notice the signs of infestations until they've reached an irreversible stage.
How do termites hide their presence until it's too late, and how can you become more observant? As entomologists at Virginia Tech note, termites hide their activity underground and in other areas that people can't see. Fortunately, they also leave a few telltale signs in their wake.
Termites eat dead plant material, and in forests, they serve a vital role in the process of decomposition. Unfortunately, people also use wood and other organic substances to build many parts of their homes, making them an attractive meal for any termites in the area.
When termites consume wood in your home, they might eat the inside sections of components like flooring, support beams and wall panels. This can produce dark discolorations, blisters, scars and holes. In some cases, you'll notice boreholes surrounded by piles of sawdust.
What if you can't see any wood damage? Don't be fooled into thinking that your home is safe. Tap the handle of a screwdriver or other tool against wood surfaces that you suspect may hide termite damage. If there are hollow spaces inside, you'll hear a difference. You might even punch through into a termite nest and get to see them in action.
One defining characteristic of termites is that they need moisture to survive. To keep their nests and fragile bodies from drying out, they build mud tunnels that let them travel from one place to another. Finding these tubes inside or around your home is a definite indicator that you're facing an infestation.
Even though the previous indicators are usually enough justification to call a pest control service, you're not guaranteed to see them right out in the open. Fortunately, you don't have to go crawling in your attic or some other remote space to find out what's going on around your home.
If your home has areas where its wooden building materials come into contact with the ground, such as external siding that isn't properly separated from the dirt, then start looking there. These spots are prime entry points for termites that want to feast on your property.
Termites can use features like drainage holes and wiring channels to get inside. If these areas are overly moist, they become even more enticing.
Unfortunately, some construction companies bury wooden debris under slabs or use it to fill voids. These practices not only attract termites but provide them with easy entryways.
What should you do after you discover termites in your home? A few foragers can turn into a colony of thousands in weeks, so talk to an expert at the first sign of trouble. To learn more about your pest control options, contact the specialists at Orange Environmental today.