Surprisingly not every property owner realizes termites can destroy all wood in a house and cripple the real estate investment.
When termites attacked and damaged my home, I decided to dig deep and help other homeowners prevent similar termite repair expenses I had. While researching, I was astonished at how much bigger issue termites have become for a typical homeowner. I found the subterranean termites are the most destructive species. In the US alone, termites inflict a whopping $5 billion worth of devastation every year. And a report by the Australian Institute of Architects suggests that termites cause $1.5 billion worth of damages in homes across Australia. These numbers are alarming indeed.
What Are Subterranean Termites?
Subterranean termites are the type of termites that usually nest under the ground. They are notorious for attacking houses by entering from the foundations of the house. Subterranean termites construct tunnels using soil and build them up on your home’s footings to reach the woodwork. Subterranean Termites don’t attack the foundation. They find a crack in the concrete or use it as a bridge to penetrate your house, usually within a few days.
What Can You Do?
As a homeowner, you need to be observant and alert to the most common signs of termite infestation. Ensure to check things as often as possible, especially around the foundations of your home. However, a termite inspection carried out regularly by a termite expert may be the safer option.
Below are the most common signs you may notice when termites attack your home.
Clicking Sound at Night
A very distinct sign of an infestation is the clicking sound termites make. Especially at night when it’s quiet, you can hear it coming from the walls. The soldier termites tap their heads against the wood when they signal to other colony members. Contrary to common belief, the worker termites are not noisy eaters.
Sticking Windows and Doors
When your windows or doors start to jam, it may not be just moisture and humidity. Another common sign in detecting termites is when you notice your windows and doors become difficult to open. When termites start slowly eating into the frames, they will move them slightly out of shape. That’s why the windows or doors swell, get stuck, and become increasingly hard to open.
Mud Tubes on a Certain Area
Subterranean termites are attracted to damp areas in your house. To protect themselves, they build sheltering tunnels, they are also kept moist at the same time. Termites make these tunnels from their secretion and soil. If you want to discourage termites, consider removing moisture areas and all leaks in and around your home. Look out for mud tunnels on the exterior and basement walls. Termite tunnels are visible to the naked eye, and you’ll be able to find them easily.
Termites are shy, and they don’t like to be out in the daylight. They always remain underneath the surface in the dark, sheltered in tunnels, or eat into the wood to create cavities. So, consider gently tapping all woodwork in your home to check if it gives off an empty sound. When termites burrow into the wood, it will sound hollow when tapped.
You May Notice White Ants in Your Home
Okay, first things first, the while ants you may have noticed around your house are not ants. We often see strange insects, but mixing ants with termites will not get you any far in discovering the signs. So, if you see an insect that looks like an ant but is light in color, knows that it is a termite. Moreover, their waist side is thicker than a regular ant because of the food they store. These commonly mistaken termites are known as subterranean termites. Yes, and they can fly out of their nests to mate and set up new colonies nearby.
When to Call a Termite Control Expert
You may be able to find termites in your home by yourself. But when it comes to getting rid of them, it may not be as easy. When it comes to protecting your home from termites, hiring a professional termite control may be the best option to take. When you notice any first signs of termites, it is the best time to seek professional help. Also, consider adding chemical barriers to prevent termites from reaching the floor joist.