Drywood termites live predominantly in dry wood, as their name implies. Without being evident for years, they may be in foundations, windows, and door frames in your house. From furniture to skirting boards, they feed on any piece of interior or exterior wood found in homes.
In your home, it is essential to be proactive and look for warning signs of termite infestations. It’s a good idea to do daily checks around your house or apartment to catch termites as early as possible. Daily inspections avoid termite damage to your home if you know that drywood termites are in the area. Any sighting of live winged termites around your home should result in an immediate home inspection and call a termite expert immediately.
Table of contents:
- Termite Droppings, Pellets, and Sawdust
- Termite Mud Tubes or Cocoon
- Termite Damage in Drywall
- Termites in Ceiling
- Dead Termites in House
- Termites in Hardwood Floors
- Termite Damage or Wood Rot
- Hollowed, Damaged Wood Structures
- Flying Termites
- Discarded Termite Wings
- Termite Noises
- Timber That Sounds Papery or Hollow
- Tight Fitting Doors and Windows
- White Ants
- Uneven or Paint Bubbling
Here are 15 termite signs that these unwelcome visitors might be living in your home:
Termite Droppings, Pellets, and Sawdust
It’s not unusual for homeowners to find piles of what they believe is sawdust around their home and assume termites created it. However, termites don’t generate sawdust, contrary to common belief. Instead, they excrete a material that is mistaken for sawdust by many people. Termite frass, or termite excrement, is what this material is called.
Termite frass (droppings or pellets) is a strong indicator of termites and drywood termites. The termites leave small piles of feces that look like pellets where they have eaten or nested. This sign of an active infestation during a termite inspection is something that is often checked. Drywood termites don’t use their feces to create their tunnels, unlike subterranean termites. Instead, they force it out of small holes near their nest entrances. This can result in tiny black marks across the area; they are infesting and dark powdery material.
Termite Mud Tubes or Cocoon
A termite cocoon or mud tube is that tiny grey-brown structure attached to your foundation? Mud tubes and cocoons can confuse people. Termites do not make cocoons. Although both mud tunnels and cocoons cover their insect inhabitants, they’re not the same thing. Termites, unlike other species, do not undergo a complete metamorphosis. It means the termite cocoons do not exist. People may confuse a termite mud tube with a cocoon sometimes.
The most destructive type of termite, subterranean termites, create mud shelter tubes or termite tubes to provide moisture when moving between their entire colony and the food source. These types of termites are found throughout the continental United States. Mud tubes are usually located near the home’s foundation, either in the crawl space or outside.
Termite Damage in Drywall
Since termites also eat exterior walls from the inside out, there may be few apparent signs of harm. When a termite specialist has detected the infestation, he or she will be able to show you tiny “trails” that indicate the tunnel pathways in the sheetrock paper.
Termites make tiny holes in the drywall paper occasionally. Subterranean termites use soil to cover these gaps, not by drywood termites. If small pin-sized holes in sheetrock (also spelled sheetrock) or wallpaper are noted, schedule a termite inspection before any repairs go forward.
Termites in Ceiling
Various species of termites eat different organic materials, and they can infest books, picture frames, window trims, chairs, floors, and ceilings. The harm caused by termites to ceilings usually resembles light water damage. Affected ceilings buckle and sag, costing homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs eventually. The most common culprits are subterranean and drywood termites when it comes to termite damage to ceilings.
Dead Termites in House
Homeowners sometimes come home from work to find several dead swarmers on window sills, countertops, around furniture, etc. (or even only their wings). This is the aftermath of a swarm of termites. Most of the time, the only time homeowners either see termites or find out they have termites is during a termite swarm.
Termites in Hardwood Floors
These areas or blisters may mark termites feeding inside or below. Subterranean termites can cause subfloor damage, making your wood flooring look as if it were destroyed by water or cause sagging floor. Bare, exposed wood or rotted areas are open invitations for a termite attack, and the damage termites cause is permanent.
Termite Damage or Wood Rot
When it comes to the building’s foundation, termite damage and rotting wood can be severely detrimental. However, it can be harder to identify what is going on because both causes of wood decay have similar-looking results.
The popular form of wood rot you can find and dry rot is often mistaken for termite damage. Dry rot is caused by a fungus that attacks the wood and destroys its interior structure, hollowing it out from the inside. Despite its name, dry rot requires moisture to begin decaying, and fungi will carry water to wooden structures’ inner surface.
Like fungi, the inside of the wood is eaten away by termites, leaving it hollow and fragile. Small cracks and crevices in foundation and walls enable termite access to wood, where they chew tunnels inside existing structures.
Hollowed, Damaged Wood Structures
The small tunnels, also known as ‘galleries,’ are hard to see from the outside, but if you see them close or in your house in a piece of broken timber, it is a sure sign that termites have moved in your home. Also, wooden structures in direct contact with the ground, such as porches or decks, invite termite entrance.
Different types of technology have been developed to detect tunnels and termites’ activity when there are no visible signs. These include microwaves, borescopes, electronic odor detectors, sound sensors, infrared detectors, X-rays, and even dogs. Still, there is only a handful that has been tested or is in operation under laboratory conditions.
The appearance of flying termites, called termite swarmers or alates, is typically the first indicator of an active termite infestation. The flying termites are the females and males that have left the nest to find a mate and then build a new colony that may be close or in your house.
At night, some swarming termites and are attracted to light sources. Some species may swarm during the daytime, but all drywood termites appear to pack at unique times of the year after rain.
Discarded Termite Wings
Discarded wings are another common sign of termites. Shortly after seeking a mate, flying termites lose their wings. Male and female pairs of drywood termites then crawl to an acceptable breeding site where they mate and start the new colony to seal themselves in. The king and queen begin by taking care of their young people before enough workers are ready to take over. The king continues tending to the queen, and the pair remain together for over ten years in the growing colony. You may find small piles of wings around your home’s foundation, such as window sills and spider webs. If you see piles of discarded wings, then there’s a good chance you have active termites.
Maybe you’re curious what sound termites make? Quiet clicking sounds coming from the inside foundation walls are one indicator of soldier termites. Termite soldiers smash their heads against the wood or shake their bodies to signal danger signs to the other termites when the termite colony is disturbed.
The worker termites, who love to eat your structural wooden floors, are noisy eaters. You can hear them munching away if you place your ear next to some infested wood.
Termites are sensitive little creatures. Using multiple organs located at the base of their antennae and on the tibia (one of the leg segments), they can sense vibrations and noises.
Scientists at Australia’s CSIRO also think that by using vibrations to calculate it from the inside, termites can detect the size of a piece of lumber, something that humans can’t do yet! A lot still needs to be learned about these little structural pests.
Timber That Sounds Papery or Hollow
Drywood termites usually eat wood from the inside, leaving the wood or only the paint with a thin layer. It will sound hollow or papery when you knock or tap on an area that has termite damage. This is because the timber inside has been eaten away and one of the termite’s signs is another.
Some of the stories you hear about termites are that when a vacuum cleaner goes through a skirting board or a finger pushed into a door frame is a termite problem discovered. You may also notice tiny holes where sawdust has accumulated.
Tight Fitting Windows and Doors That Are Hard to Open
Stiff windows and warped doors may also indicate termites and are connected to damp and hot weather signs! When they eat and tunnel through door and window frames, the moisture they produce can cause the wood to warp, making it tough to open doors and windows.
Confusing termites with white ants is a standard error people make. This mistake is a simple one to make because both in form, size, and in some cases, behavior, ants, and termites are very close.
What are the distinctions between ants and termites, then?
- In color, termites are light. Typically, they are white/creamy and can appear very transparent at times.
- In contrast to ants, antennae termites are straight rather than twisted.
- A termite’s waist section is a lot thicker than that of an ant. On an ant, the thorax’s portion that meets the abdomen is narrow, while this portion is broader on a termite.
- There are two sets of wings for both flying ants and termites. However, similar to an ant having one set more extensive than the other, termites are all the same size.
The main thing to remember is that no such thing as a white ant. If you think you have seen an insect in and around your house that looks like a white ant, then you might have a termite issue on your hands.
Uneven or Paint Bubbling
Uneven, bubbling paint or your drywall is blistering; this is a symbol of the build-up of moisture, which may indicate water damage or termites.
Have Signs of Termites?
If you need termite protection, the Total Termite & Pest Control service technicians are trained to search for the telltale signs of termites throughout your home. We can potentially save you from thousands of dollars in-home repairs and having the equipment to identify termites when no visible symptoms are present. These include sensors for moisture level, sensors for heat, and sensors for vibration.
It is a great idea to have a routine termite control inspection to detect eastern subterranean termite infestations and reduce the possibility of expensive structural damage to your home. This professional inspection is recommended because most insurance plans do not cover termite damage.
Total Termite & Pest Control professionals will provide you with suggestions for the best types of effective termite treatment options available such as termite baits, for your property if termite activity is detected. If you think you’re at risk for a drywood termite infestation, contact us for more details and set up a free inspection today before this becomes a significant problem.
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