Termites are a problem almost everywhere in the U.S. They can be found in 49 states nationwide. The termite damage to property is estimated at approximately $5 billion each year.  This article is going to help you notice the signs of termites and how you can protect your home. The best protection for termites is to have a pest company inspect your property.

Why should you do a termite inspection?

Why should you do a termite inspection

The insurance you buy to protect your home does not normally cover termite damage. For this reason, you should be proactive and look for termite activity inside your home.  You should have a pest control company do an annual termite inspection of your home.  By having professionals inspect for insects, you won’t have any costly repairs to fix the damage to wooden items these termites create. A termite inspection will ensure you know whether the problem is carpenter ants or termites.

How can I check for termites myself?

You can always inspect for signs of invasion of termites by doing your own investigations. The following is how and what signs to look for in a termite inspection of your own:

  • Areas of wood flooring that might be blistering.

These blisters in the wood could be an indication of a termite infestation.  Subterranean termites create wood damage as they feed in these areas.  Some homeowners often mistake this for water damage. A professional will know the difference.

  • Wood that is hollowed out or other destruction clues upon inspection.

This might be found beneath floors and wall surfaces. It is caused when termites chew wood looking for cellulose. This activity creates elongated grooves in the wood. This creates a honeycomb that makes empty sounds because of the hollowed-out wood.

  • Proof of termite swarm activity.

Abandoned wings from termites are often found near doors, closed windows, wall surfaces, or other entry points of a home.  This is the result of termites swarming to seek a new area in which to begin a new colony.  The termite no longer needs its wings once it lands, so they discard and free themselves of them. Termites have wings similar in size to other flying ants. The only difference is the front pair is larger than the ones in the rear.

  • Droppings from dry-wood termites.

You will find these insects nesting snuggly in a wooden crawl space, such as an attic. They create their galleries by making tunnels through the infested wood as they eat through it.  Termites like to keep their galleries clean. They make kick-out holes in the wood by discarding their droppings.  This excrement is mostly pellet mounds due to their primary diet being wood.  Termite droppings might look like coffee grounds or sawdust.  If you see anything resembling this, it may be an indication you have an invasion.

  • Evidence of mud tubes.

Mud tubes are the size of a pencil and can be found in areas where your house meets the ground.  Also, in places that could be a source of food, like a shed or tree.  The dry, cool air is then blocked by these tunnels, creating an ideal environment within your home for them to thrive.

What are mud tubes?

Mud tubes

Subterranean termites make what are called mud tubes in the form of wood mulch and soil.  These tubes keep them protected from dry environments and predators as they move from the nest to a food source.

What if I don’t find any signs of termites?

Even if there are no signs of termites, you could still have a problem.  What they cause can be unrecognizable for some time. Often when it is discovered, it can be significant. You may have to get into a small crawl space to search for their nests.

How long does it take to do a termite inspection?

The anticipated time for an inspection may be one to two hours. This is all dependent on how large or small your property is.  During this inspection, the inspector will check for termites on walls, baseboards, door frames, crawl spaces, and inside closets and cabinets. This is all good, and to inspect termites take time in order to plan adequate treatment for termite control.

How do you inspect a building for termites?

The termite inspection may take up to two hours for an inspector to do a good inspection of your property. Next, make sure to include all areas indoors and outdoors in this inspection. The inspector will look around for clues to an infestation that might encompass damaged wood, broken wings, and mud tubes.

Do the inspectors need to enter your residence?

The answer is yes.  In order to complete a home termite inspection, keep in mind the inspector will need access to your home. All open areas, like the attic and garage, need to be made accessible. As well as utility rooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen. It is also necessary for the ground next to any buildings to be free of wooden items.

What do they do during an inspection?

An inspection report

The primary reason to inspect termites is to find out where a termite infestation is. Where plumbing pipes penetrate the foundation, subterranean termites often enter your home. The inspector will need to look outside at the eaves and walls for clues of damaged wood.  Additionally, the need for NPMA-33 pest inspection or open inspections of the ground and foundation for anything signaling termite activity is important. Often inspections of an attic will reveal any open spaces that give them entrance.

How do subterranean termites get in a house?

A termite is a pest a homeowner’s nightmare is made of.  Subterranean termites are common in many areas of the United States.  They enter through tunnels constructed of their saliva or feces, wood, and soil. It is imperative for an inspection to get in every nook, cranny, and crawl space.

How do you tell the difference between a termite and a carpenter ant infestation?

The way to distinguish between these two pests is by their galleries. The carpenter ant galleries are smooth, polished wood; subterranean termites galleries are primarily constructed of mud and soil.

Termite damage vs. carpenter ant damage

How to distinguish these two insects apart?

The primary difference is the shape of the body.  A termite has a thorax and a head.  Carpenter ants have a thorax, abdomen, and ahead.  The wings of a termite are longer than that of flying ants--nearly twice as long as its body.

How much does it cost to treat a house for termites?

When you are planning the treatment for an infestation, you are looking at it costing between $200 and $900.  The average cost for a treatment is about $560.  This is an average linear price of around $3 to $16 per foot within your home.

Can you treat your home for termites yourself?

There are ways you can get rid of a termite problem yourself.  You may want to use liquid insecticides (termiticides) for the treatment of soil and foundation barriers.  There are also baits to use for their control.  Whatever you choose to use, ensure you follow manufacturer warnings regarding small children and pets.

What are the signs of an active termite infestation?

Inspect termites for a sign of termite infestation

Below are some symptoms you might have an infestation of live termites:

  • There will be mud tubes around the foundation in areas spanning over support beams and floor joists of your house.
  • Noticeable amounts of rotting wood, as well as live bugs within the soil around your house.
  • Termite swarmers abandon their wings indoors and outside of your home.
  • New damage created by termites.

When are they most active?

It is common to notice subterranean termites swarming most prevalently following rainfall during the daytime. Springtime seems to be the season in which they are most active.  The invasive species of Formosan termites are active during the late spring and summer months.  The dry wood termites peak and are most active during the nighttime, particularly near lighting.

When should you call a professional?

Preferably, the best answer to this question is to take action before any extreme termite damage can occur. Whether you are aware of a current termite infestation or you suspect one, you should call a professional.  You are going to need a rights-reserved company such as A.N.T. Pest Control.  Give them a call today to schedule a termite inspection around New Lenox.

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