A termite infestation is no joke. Americans spend more than $2 billion a year to treat and manage termites. An infestation can destroy your wooden furniture, walls, and paint, costing you thousands of dollars.
But you can reduce the damage through simple steps. One step is to learn the signs you have termites. If you can spot termites within a few days, you can bring infestations to a halt.
What are the main signs of termites? Where do you need to look in your house for them? How can you distinguish between and catch different types of termites?
Answer these questions and you can keep your house free of pests for years to come. Here is your quick guide.
Stuck Doors and Windows
Termites can enter a home through a gap in a door or window. They also like to feast on the wood around doors and windows because the wood is easy to access.
As time goes on, the frame around a door or window can start to chip. The hinges that support the door may become stiff, making it hard for you to open the door.
Use a magnifying glass to take a close look at the stuck door. If you notice unusual marks, you may need to call a termite removal company.
Termites also like to burrow through walls, especially wooden ones. Take a close look at your walls and keep an eye out for tunnels or holes. They may be the size of a pinhead, so you can use a magnifying glass or a zoom lens on a camera to look for them.
Termites are capable of making these holes without damaging paint or wallpaper. If you have wallpaper hung up, you need to remove it to look for holes. You can also ask a termite control company like Reynolds Pest Management to inspect your walls for you.
Mud tubes are narrow tunnels of mud that termites use to crawl through the soil. You can spot mud tubes outside your home, but groups of termites can bring them inside your house. Inspect your basement and first-floor windows for any tubes.
Termite colonies have a caste system, with termite swarmers being the reproductive members of the group. You can spot swarmers flying near your doors and windows.
But you are more likely to find droppings and discarded wings. Termites may drop their feces and wings in dark crevices where you are less likely to find them, so look at your floor using a bright flashlight.
The Signs You Have Termites
The signs you have termites may surprise you. Termites like to gnaw on window frames and walls, so you should look there for signs of damage. Keep in mind that holes may be small and hard to see.
Termites crawl through mud tubes, which they can bring through gaps in your doors. Swarmers fly in well-lit areas, and you can trap them before they reproduce. You can also spot droppings in the corners and crevices of your low-lying rooms.
Termites are just one creepy-crawly you could confront. Read more pest control guides by following our coverage.