Approximately 600,000 houses in the United States are affected by termite damage each year. As these wood-eating insects are very adaptable, few areas of the country are immune. Termites live in colonies and can eat two to three percent of their body weight each day! Left unchecked, they can compromise the beams and foundation of your home, damage that can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Fortunately, there are a few obvious signs of termites that can alert you to a growing problem and allow you to seek help from a pest control service before the damage becomes too extensive.
1. Discarded wings. Reproductive termites take flight during mating season to look for new nesting areas and to find mates. During this period, you may see piles of wings around the base of your foundation or in corners of your attic or basement.
2. Termite shelter tubes along the base of your foundation or on trees and bushes. Termites need moisture in order to thrive. To keep out of the direct sun and wind, they construct tubes of mud and dirt. These tubes are about the size of a pencil and are generally found at the base of trees or your home's foundation.
3. Swarms of small insects. Yet another sign of termites is swarms of flying insects around ground level, particularly in the spring and fall seasons.
4. Small piles of wood or dirt. Small piles of wood dust or dirt can be an indication that termites are eating your wooden beams or digging in the dirt on their way into and out of your structure.
5. Hollow beams. Termite damage to your beams can be difficult to detect until it becomes very extensive. The tell-tale ruts and grooves may not be apparent until termites have been established for months or even years. That's because termites eat your wooden structural beams from the inside out. However, one key sign of damage is if you get a hollow sound when you tap on the wood.
Ridding your home of termites is not a very good DIY project. Evicting them and keeping them out of your home permanently requires special training and equipment. For best results, you'll want to contact a pest control company if you see termite mud tubes, swarms of small insects, small piles of wood or dirt or discarded wings on the ground around your building. For more information, discover more on websites like this.