Have you noticed problems with the wood in your home? If weakening or cracks are appearing, you may have a serious problem. This could be a termite infestation and it needs to be cleared before more damage is done.
Below, we give you help in deciding if you have a pest problem. Read on for our must-know guide on termite infestation.
1. Damage to Wood
The first signs of a termite infestation are damage to wood. This could be on structural elements of a home or property. Damaged wood can be hard to spot at first.
This is because termites eat wood from the inside out. This can leave it weak and hollow before you even realize the extent of the damage.
Damage to the structure of your home understandably causes a myriad of problems. It reduces the safety of your structure, leaving you with costly repairs and replacements.
You can spot termite-infested wood by a weakness of the timber, which causes it to crumble and buckle. You may find that some wood has a very distinct pattern upon its surface. Finally, you may notice that wood has lost its shape or stability, and is creaking, swaying, or failing to open in the case of doors and windows.
2. Termite Wings
One major giveaway is the visible signs of the termite themselves. Termites leave the nest and fly to find a suitable mate. These winged termites will be the leaders of new colonies, which, unfortunately, may be in your home.
Different species have different behaviors and patterns, with some likely to swarm at night. They are attracted to light sources, so an increased presence of bugs on lamps and bulbs can be an indication of an infestation.
Many dry wood termites will choose to swarm after rain. They may also have particular seasons or times of the year they choose. A specialist in termite infestation control in Tucson will be able to advise you on this and a suitable course of action.
Finally, discarded wings are a very worrying sight. Swarming termites shed their wings as they are about to find a new nesting place. If you discover a cache of these in or around your property, it is an indicator that you may have termites somewhere close by.
3. Audible Signals
Termites are not the quietest of insects, and signs of a termite infestation include their noisy, audible signals. Typically, they sound like a dull, remote clicking or knocking. If you suspect termites, place your ear against the wood and listen carefully.
The noise is the sound of a soldier termite as it shakes its body and bangs its head against the wood. These movements are for colony communication, and can often be a signal of danger to others in the group. As termites are extremely sensitive to vibrations and movement, any response from you may increase the noise as they warn each other of impending danger.
4. Ants and Termite Infestations
If you have an ant infestation, then beware. Many people mistake termites for them and class them as less dangerous. However, the big giveaway is that termites are white, while ants are dark in coloration.
Secondly, termites have very straight antennae. The antennae of an ant will be bent or slightly rounded. The waist of a termite will also be much thicker than an ant.
5. Tubes and Tunnels
When termites consume wood, they form narrow tunnels in the material. While this can not be spotted from outside, it may be visible if you have a hole in the wall. This will expose the passageways, often named galleries, to the naked eye.
Termites can also create mud tubes above the surface. They are built to allow them to travel safely between the colony and food sources, protecting them from predators and harsh environments.
Termites do create mounds. Luckily, these are usually only found in tropical and subtropical environments so should not impact people living in the Arizona area. If you see mounds, it is probably a sign of another pest in the environment.
Though they may be small and hard to spot, termites will also leave droppings around infested areas. This waste is known as frass and is the product of the termites eating the wood. Dirt can be wood colored or resemble a small scattering of salt or pepper.
Frass will tend to pool near the entry point for termites. If you can locate the holes in the galleries close by, then you should be able to work out where their colony is.
7. Hollow Wood
Termite-infested wood is often hollow and empty, as the insects have devoured its center and core. A hollow, light sound will reverberate from the wood if you knock on it.
This can be very dangerous if the wood itself is a structural feature. Termite-infested floorboards and beams should be approached only by professionals who will use extreme caution. The wooden areas above ground, such as second floors and attics, are at just as much risk as ground-level areas due to the termite’s ability to fly.
Cracks on internal walls are also a sign that termite activity is at play. Skirting boards and flooring can perish until only the paint or finish is standing.
Call in Assistance
A termite infestation is not something that can be ignored. Irreparable damage could be caused to your property. You need to find a reputable, experienced removal expert to stop any more problems before they occur.
We here at Gecko Pest are expert removal engineers in the Tucson area. We have a promise to solve your problem without excuses. Call us today to discuss your pest issues, and we can get your home under control starting today.