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When walking around your home, you may spot a tiny mud track along the foundation wall and wonder what that could be. If this happens, do not take it lightly. Your property could be full of termites. Termites, also referred to as white ants, are little social creatures that love eating the cellulose in wood. And since they require regular contact with soil to survive, they create tunnel-like mud structures that connect their underground nest to wood sources. Their massive appetite for wood leads them to cause much damage to buildings, more than fires and lightning. To better recognize their presence, seek professional termite inspection services. The experts will also help in eliminating them and thereby preventing further termite damage.
What Attracts Termites?
Wood is the primary attraction for these destructive insects. They usually burrow holes in it as they chew their way through. Although it is natural to them, the damage to your home is never a good thing. If you live in a warm, humid area, your property will be highly susceptible to termite infestation. Wood in close contact with the ground and foundation makes way for termites to invade your building. If you see a mud tube or burrowed wood outside your house, it is time to contact an expert pest inspector. Here are other factors that attract termites to your property:
- Moisture in damp wood
- Untreated lumber
- Tree stumps on your property
- Outdoor woodpiles
- Presence of mulch outside
Signs Of Termite Infestation
Though you may not see termites in the open, they could be busy causing damage to your property. The thing about termites is they are very secretive and therefore challenging to detect. But the good thing is they leave behind tell-tale signs of their presence. Here are some of the signs that termites have infested your home, and you should take immediate action to get rid of them entirely with the help of a termite extermination expert.
Also known as alates or swarmers, flying termites are reproductive termites that mate to establish new colonies. They are most active in the spring, whereby they come out during the day, especially after rainfall, and often swarm around light sources. While they do not cause any significant property damage, their presence means there probably is a well-established termite colony in or near your home. They typically have two pairs of wings that are translucent or light grey. Since they are not good flyers, their wings usually break off right after mating. A termite swarm for many homeowners is the most visible sign of an infestation by termites.
If you wake up to a pile of discarded wings, it is a good sign that termites are around. The presence of fallen wings suggests that termites have just swarmed. Swarmers usually lose their wings after they mate. You are highly likely to spot the wings on windowsills and doorways.
If you notice mud trails on wooden or concrete structures, it indicates termite presence. Termites build such tubes to protect themselves from predators and dry environments. They also use the tubes as passageways from their nest to a food source. Amazingly, some mud tubes are suspended mid-air.
Termite mounds are usually built when a termite colony is about to release swarmers. Termites build their mounds almost the same way as mud tunnels but way larger and more rigid. You may spot one of these tall, giant mounds around your property.
Frass is small piles of termite droppings or leftovers of wood eaten by termites that resemble sawdust. It indicates a wood-eating spree or the cleaning of nests since termites push out faecal matter from their nesting places through holes in wood.
Other signs of termites include:
- Tiny pin-like holes in drywall
- Wooden beams sounding hollow when tapped
- Water-like discolouration or damage on drywall
- Accumulated piles of dried mud, especially in window and door frame joints
Getting Rid Of Termites
When you discover that termites have infested your home, it is high time to undertake termite control to examine the extent of the infestation and conduct thorough extermination to stop any further damages. Generally, a complete termite treatment costs around $300 to $800 and involves various techniques, including dusting, spraying, and foaming. Baiting, which is the most expensive yet effective way of keeping termites from damaging your home, costs about $2000 to $3000, but since its effects are long-lasting, it will save you money in the long run.