10 Easy to Spot Signs of Termites You Might Need to Attend
Termite Control Melbourne – Termites are insects that come under taxonomic rank of cockroach family and they are also known to be the ancestors of cockroaches.
About $30 billion annual worth of damages on properties and crops here in Australia are attributed to termite infestations. This amount is bigger than the damages of hurricanes and tornadoes combined. That’s why you should act fast on the first signs of termites.
An average Australian spends about $3000 to cure termite infestations. $3000 is a staggering amount so I advise that you check your home now for these signs before it’s too late.
- WOOD DAMAGE
You can use a screwdriver or a long stick to poke on the inside of the wood. If it’s impossible to do, you can cut a small portion of the wood and look for a certain pattern.
If you see a honeycomb-like pattern in the wood, chances are your structure is infested with subterranean termites. However, if you see signs of damage against the wood grain, it’s a sign of dry wood termites.
If you don’t want to slice the wood foundation, you can knock on it and listen if it produces a hollow sound. If it does, you should seek a professional pest control service.
- DISCARDED WINGS
The swarmer termites called Alates are those that have wings. Once they finished the reproductive stage, they will shed off their wings to join the colony on the crevices of your house. This is where you should keep a hawk-eye.
I suggest that you take a close look at your floor before vacuuming to check if there are wings. Don’t brush your window sill right away; this too can be the perfect spot for alates to remove their wings.
However, don’t mistake flying ants wings to swarmer wings. Termite wings are more elongated than those of ants and have proportionate size.
- BROWN POWDERY EXCREMENTS
Termites eat wood so they poop wood. Once I had walked into our kitchen barefoot and felt that sandy texture on the floor. No one’s going to bring sand inside so I’m more than certain that it’s termites eating the cupboards. I was not wrong.
Termite feces are also called frass. Check the foundation of your house and the insides of your cabinet. If you found a trail or small mound of frass on it, I’m more than certain your house is infested with termites.
However, some homeowners mistake wood frass from carpentry as one of the signs of termites. If you have an ongoing wood repair in the house, this might not be applicable to do. But keeping a close watch will not cost you anything.
- MUD TUBES
To make their way inside your wood, termites have to eat their way inside. This produces pencil-sized tubes that are interconnected to moisture sources to food sources. This way, termites can reach other parts of your house with less surface damage.
Mud tubes are branching brown patterns in the wood and are the easiest sign to spot.
If you found this in your home, try to remove it from the timber. If it went off easily, it means that the infestation has been going for long. You can damage the mud tubes but termites can rebuild it again so better seek the help of a Termite Control Melbourne Company.
- BLISTERING FLOOR
Termites can damage even laminated floors. Once they munch the back of the laminate, the floor surface will easily blister and will show signs of sagging. You can test your floor by walking on it and listening if it’s already squeaking.
For tiled floors, the same can happen. Termites can eat the insides and your tiles will become loose. To check this, you can do the hollow-sound test or you’ll have to remove a tile to look for tunnel-like damages on the wood.
This sign is the one you should diagnose early so your floor will not give off when the majority of the wood has been eaten off.
- HARD TO OPEN WINDOW AND DOORS
Termites can eat the wood into which your doors and windows are attached. This will cause sticking and difficult to open. The frame of the window can also be damaged and the wood will start to bulge. Worst cases can make windows and doors wear off from the hinges.
If your hinges are well oiled but still keep on sticking, you need to have your home inspected for termites.
- DAMAGE IN THE GARDEN
Your garden has the moist termites love plus enough supply of wood to eat. Check for mud tunnels in the soil and flip your stack of wood for possible termite hideouts. Another thing that you should watch out is its gray arboreal nest on trees which can later damage the living wood.
Start checking from your fences for signs of termites. If you see possible termite damage on it, have it replaced with termite-treated wood. Knock on the trees too and listen if it has a hollow sound.
On the other hand, don’t miss checking your fuse boxes and other dry places. Some termites can hide here and build a tiny mound where they continue to reproduce.
- CLICKING SOUND ON THE WALLS
Termites also do some head banging. Not because it rocks to eat your house, but because they are sensing danger. Soldier termites bang their heads or entire bodies into the wood to warn the colony of a possible threat while the workers usually produce sound from their grinding.
You can put an ear on the wood and listen intently for any sound. Just make sure that your wood isn’t receiving any vibrations from your air-conditioning unit or other appliances.
- BUBBLING PAINT
Subterranean termites don’t usually surface in plain view because they hate dry air. Since your painted wood might have moisture inside, they will remain inside it until they eat off to the surface. When that happens, the paint will peel or bubble.
Termites keep the moisture from the wood into their bodies. When they reach the surface level, the thin layer of wood and paint will bulge.
In worst cases, nothing will hold the paint and it will start to sag. Before jumping into the conclusion of termite infestation, look for water leaks first. Excess water can make the wood soft and the paint to wear off.
- WHITE ANTS
Termites can have the cream color and sometimes, close to being transparent. Some homeowners make the mistake of dismissing it like ants. During rainy days, ants usually climb up to prevent the colony from being washed. Termites may also disguise as such since they prosper when there is enough moisture.
It’s important to remember that not all termites fly. Most of the transfer like ants inside the house so you’ll barely notice it. Termites are also called “White ants” so don’t mistake them as two different insects.
It’s easy to spot termites if you’re observant enough. These signs of termites will guide you on diagnosing your own house toward swift pest control. This insect is costing Australia billions of dollars annually and having yourself on the casualty list will be the last thing you would want.
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Riley Evans is a proffesional blogger and cleaning manager in a reputative cleaning and pest company in Australia. He always write blogs and article on cleaning tips, pest control services and many more.