Signs of Termites

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You may have unwanted guests and not even know it.  Find out how to know if termites are active in your home or business. 

Here Are A Few Common Signs of Termites in Missouri

How do I know if I have termites? Your first clue to a termite problem may be small flying insects – known as termite Swarmers - flying near your windows and leaving behind their discarded wings. This phenomenon generally occurs in the spring time.

However, termites are active all year round, and as termite swarmers look very similar to flying ants, correct identification is critical as part of a professional customized solution.

Termites are secretive pests and spotting them can prove to be very tricky. They can live undetected in hollow doors and wall voids for many years.

Apart from spotting termite swarmers in the spring, another obvious indicator of their presence is the damage they inflict on properties. To actually tell if you have termites in your home, it is often easier to look for the early damage signs they can typically cause.

  • Mud tubes on exterior walls - Act as protection for termites and are commonly found near the foundations of your home. Typically subterranean termite species build mud tubes, which also provides moisture. They are made up of soil and termite droppings. Avoid attracting termites by removing moisture rich environments, and storing firewood, mulch and wood chips away from the home. Look for mud tubes on exterior or basement walls. They are easy to spot with the naked eye.

  • Floor damage - Termites can damage laminate flooring and even skirting boards. Affected flooring may blister and sag in certain areas and checking underneath the flooring may help to uncover termite activity. You can also check if your floor feels more spongy and perhaps springs more than usual.

     

  • Wall damage - Look for unexplained cracks on internal walls. As termites consume cellulose found in timber within walls, the visible cracks could be a sign of termite activity inside.

     

  • Ceiling damage - Wooden ceilings, beams, architraves and rafters in attics are just as much at risk of termite damage as wooden structures located nearer ground level. Look for cracks on ceilings and cornices.

     

  • Foundation damage - The type of foundation your property is built on, has a big impact on how easy it may be for termites to gain entry in search of food. Although a lot of foundations nowadays are made of concrete - and termites do not eat concrete -  they are able to squeeze into any crack within these concrete blocks and from there gain access to floor joists, which are still made out of wood. If you are building an extension, laying a chemical termite barrier beneath the concrete slab in order to prevent termites from traveling through foundation cracks. Homes with crawl spaces appear to be at greater risk of damage as their foundations are still traditionally made out of wood.

     

  • Sticking windows / doors - Windows and doors, which are infested with termites, may become difficult to open, as their tunneling and eating may make the frames irregular and misshapen.

     

  • Garden damage - Decking and wooden fence posts in your garden are at great risk of termites. Long-term damage could lead to collapse. Termite-treated wood or metal posts, can help to avoid this problem. Termites may also damage trees, leading to branches falling off.

     

  • Damaged Roof Tiles - Access moisture in your home due to loose, broken or damp roof tiles can attract termites. Broken roof tiles are a great source of moisture, which will attract termites and allow them access further inside your home. Once inside, termites are able to maneuver through a property easily and attack and eat away at wood components in all locations. Make it a habit to replace any damaged or water-logged roof tiles to avoid make your roof a haven for termites.

     

  • Weakened / hollow-sounding wood - Termites typically feed on wood underneath the surface, making them invisible. As they eat through the wood, without your knowledge, they create hollow galleries underneath the surface, making the actual structure sound hollow, if and when you knock or tap it. Wooden doors, furniture and wooden structural supports in your property are all at risk and should be checked if you are concerned.

     

  • Frass - Another word for termite droppings. Although they cause no damage, droppings are an obvious indicator of the presence of termites and the potential damage the pests can inflict in your property, as frass is the by-product of their eating.

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