Getting hints that you might have a pest problem at home is no fun. But, as they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. I.e. It’s better to know sooner rather than later – especially when it comes to termites.
Termites are notorious for destroying anything and everything they can get their hungry mouths on, so to speak. If they invade your storage area, you’ll end up losing family heirlooms and mementoes, like old photographs, family albums, old books, letters, and paintings. Even worse, they can ruin your home by chewing through the wood which, in turn, can mean substantial expenses for repair or reconstruction.
So, to know when you should seriously call in the experts, look out for these tell-tale signs of termite infestation:
1. The presence of swarmers or alates
If you think you’re seeing flying ants – think again. That’s probably a swarm of termites (a.k.a. alates) checking out the neighbourhood; looking for a new place for their growing colony. So, be sure to look closely, and positively identify them since they might be targeting your property for their new address. Some swarmers are active in the daytime, whilst those who fly around at night get attracted to light sources.
2. Discarded or broken-off wings
Continuing from clue No.1, shed, dried or discarded wings are a sure sign a termite colony has just begun establishing itself in your property. After all, the females shed these off after reproduction. So, if you find yourself having to sweep these off your property – whether it’s around your doors or windows and other types of openings, you know it’s time to find them and get rid of them, fast!
3. Mud tunnels
There’s nothing like a termite mud tunnel to confirm your suspicion. To protect themselves from enemies and predators, termites go about their business (coming and going to your house, for example) through mud tunnels. These passageways can be observed on walls, concrete foundations,
You might notice these little highways on anything from your walls, wooden structures, furniture, concrete foundations, and most anywhere around your home.
4. Hollowed-out wood
Termites are usually smart enough to keep the surface of the timber or wood that they are chewing through. However, sometimes the layer is so thin that cracks become discernible. Touch or knock on the wood a bit and it may start chipping away. Sometimes, you may also notice tiny little holes that seem to have been bored through, with some specks of dust or dust mounds – again, this is an obvious sign of termite activity.
5. Termite droppings or frass
All that stuff they’re chewing through has to go somewhere – and this comes in the form of frass or termite poop. This usually resembles coarse sawdust which you may find just about anywhere near their place of residence.
6. Termite nests
Some types of termites build mounds that may just obviously stick out in your backyard, or on wooden fences. However, there are also those who live in furniture, wood panelling or just about anywhere inside your home that can still safely hide them. Some prefer to live within wooden walls, and even in the bathroom, behind the walls, tiles or the bathtub. Others prefer to stay hidden underneath the soil, so you never know (good thing there are other signs, though).
Time to call in the experts
If you find any or all of these tell-tale signs of termite infestation in your home, be sure to call a reliable pest control service. This is the only way you can eliminate a termite infestation before it’s too late.