Perhaps you’ve been noticing a few things out of the ordinary around your home and yard lately. And you have a nagging suspicion you may have termites. While your best bet is to contact a professional exterminator the information below may help to answer some of your questions.
Firewood and Tree Stumps
Do you have a stack of firewood that hasn’t moved in a couple of years? Or several rotting tree stumps you haven’t gotten around to having ground down? It’s probably a good idea to check all of them for signs of termites. Break or cut off a section of the decaying wood, if you notice small white ant like insects moving about, those are termites. And if any of this rotting wood is near your home then check for discarded termite wings around points of access including doors and windows. Discarded wings appear when termites swarm out of their original nest to mate and begin their own colonies.
Windows and Doors
As the weather warms up and you want to open your doors and windows for some fresh air you might discover they are a bit harder to open than usual. This can be one of the first signs of a termite infestation. Termites are drawn to the wooden frames because the wood is exposed allowing for easy access. Other problems including seasonal humidity may be the culprit, so it’s important to have an experienced professional determine the exact cause.
Termite Droppings AKA Frass
Resembling small piles of sawdust or coffee grounds depending on the species of wood consumed, this is a good indication you may have a drywood termite problem. While drywood termites prefer a hot humid coastal environment, unfortunately they have begun to call the Upstate home, hitching a ride in wooden furniture and unmilled lumber. As they tunnel deep into the wood to nest, they create small temporary holes where they kick their frass out and then reseal the hole back up. Because they burrow so deep into the wood and because they grow their colonies very slowly, it may be years before you realize you have a drywood termite infestation.
Constructed by worker termites to shield them from the elements while they are working to get into a wooden structure such as the interior of your home, these mud tubes look just like their name. Often hidden on the damp shady side of a foundation or crawl space you can check for live termites by breaking off a section of the tube. Even if there are no termites at that time, check back later to see if the tube has been repaired. But still no termites doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. They could have already moved to another area for easier access to food.
Noise Inside Your Walls
This one gets tricky. Just because you hear something, don’t assume it’s coming from a termite infestation. Termite noise sounds like a very faint clicking, scratching or chirping noise and could easily be discounted as an electrical or plumbing sound. Or it could be from a mouse, bird or squirrel trapped inside your walls. If the noise continues, don’t delay in calling a professional exterminator.