A question we often get at Hi-Tech Termite Control of Souther California is, “How do I know if I have termites?” Well, dear readers, that is a good question. I’m sorry to say that most of the time, without a professional inspection, you won’t know the answer until a colony has established itself and damage has occurred.
Having said that, if you would like to follow the path that our inspector takes as he thoroughly examines your home, grab a flashlight and get ready to crawl into the enclosed spaces under your home or between the ceiling and attic. If nothing else, this will give you a better understanding of the environment your adversary is living in.
Now remember, there are different kinds of termites. Some termites make mud tubes. Check the exterior and interior of your home. Do you see little tubes constructed of dirt and about the width of a pencil? Alas, your home has been invaded by subterranean termites.
If you don’t see tunnels, but you discover wood damage, this can also be an identifying sign of termite infestation. Wood that is honeycombed or carved out is likely infested by drywood termites. In addition, termite wood damage in nearby trees or wood piles is not to be ignored because these insatiable insects will be moving toward any food source close by, including your home!
Termites are truly amazing. For example, termite mounds have been called marvels of engineering. These imposing structures, made of soil and saliva, can stand as high as 20 feet! Their 18-inch walls are baked by the sun until they are as hard as concrete. Some mounds have literally been built overnight. Near the center of the mound resides the queen, which may lay several thousand eggs each day. Worker termites then carry off the eggs to specially constructed cells where they care for the larvae as they hatch. While termites may inspire engineers, they fill us homeowners with dread!
Before or after rain, termites can swarm. This is an obvious sign of termite presence. However, even if you don’t see the swarm, there may be other evidence, such as-piles of wings and feces (in the shape of very small round pellets) on the ground or on window sills.
Of course, if you see any of these signs, you should call a professional like Hi-Tech today!
The above are actually some of the easier signs to spot. However, there are more subtle indications.
Look for holes or buckles in painted walls or tiny holes in wood. These can be an indication of the insects. Termites eat wood from the inside out, but burrowing holes can be made. These signs are harder to spot, especially on a larger home or building.Fortunately, even though they are subtle, termites do leave clues they are present, and a trained profession knows what to look for.
When it come to your property, these more subtle clues are all you ever want to find. The more obvious evidence could mean damage, and the damage termites cause will be severe if the infestation is not eliminated. Structural features can become weakened by termites, particularly in weight-bearing joints. This kind of damage to the structure of a home seriously raises the risks of collapse as well as associated structural problems.
So, here’s the short answer to the question, “How do I know if I have termites?” To catch early signs of termite problems, do a once-a-month check of house exteriors, door frames, nearby trees and basement or crawl-space areas. While monthly checks may seem tedious and strenuous, it will save you thousands of dollars in extermination and home repair fees.
A once-a-year inspection by a professional can save your home with early detection. If termites are not found in the home, the trained Hi-Tech termite control specialists can offer recommendations to help you prevent an invasion. They may catch something you missed.