How do I Know if I Have Termites? | 6 Signs Of a Termite Infestation In Your Home
Your home is one of your biggest investments, but a colony of termites can eat away at it, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. These tiny pests stay hidden, making them difficult to identify until most of the damage is done. If you think you see evidence of termites, call a certified termite control company like Delta Pest Services right away to stop the termite damage in its tracks. Educate yourself on the early warning signs of termites to save you time and money in the long run. Common signs of termites in your house include:
One of the early signs of termites is finding broken or discarded wings around your doors, exterior lights, window sills, or yard. Depending on the time of year, the shedded termite wings can indicate that a swarm is nearby or a colony has already been formed. Formosan and Subterranean termite swarmers discard their wings in the spring to breed, so if you detect discarded wings early enough, you may be able to remove the termites before they invade your home. However, be aware that termite swarms could also indicate that there are termite colonies already active in your home.
Drywood termites not only shed their wings, but they also leave piles of feces or frass pellets near doors, windows, or even crawl spaces. Termite droppings are generally a brownish color that may look like sawdust or even coffee grounds. Drywood termites push their feces out of their tunnels and onto the ground in a pile. Although drywood termites are less common in Louisiana, they do account for 5% of all termite damage in Louisiana.
Although hard to detect, termites leave small, 1/8-inch kick-out holes, also known as exit holes in your home’s wood, drywall, or other structural materials. Termite wood damage and structural problems are often hidden beneath the surface. Unless you are a licensed termite exterminator, it is very uncommon to discover exit holes created by Subterranean termites as they fill their holes with soil and other materials nearby to maintain stable temperatures and humidity levels. If you do happen to see termite holes, contact a pest control company immediately.
Because termites must avoid sunlight to retain moisture, these destructive pests create mud tunnels to enter your home. Subterranean termites, one of the most common types of termites in Louisiana, create mud tubes to safely travel from the foundation of your home to their food source. These pencil-thin mud tubes can be found stretched several feet across drywalls, concrete, or any other surface that will lead them to their food. If you see mud tubes around your home, chances are you already have a colony living there.
Water and termite damage have such similar appearances that one can often be mistaken for the other. Water damage can even provide a more comfortable home for termites as they require moisture to survive. If you do notice any of the signs below, be sure to have your home inspected for both water damage and termites as you may have one or both. Similar signs of termite damage and water damage include:
- Peeling or Bubbling Paint
- Warped Walls or Wooden Floors
- Cracks in Wooded Structures (Patios, Beams, etc.)
- Drooping Ceilings
- Difficulty Opening Windows and Doors that Were Once Easy to Use
If you gently tap on the walls or a wooden structure with a hammer and it sounds hollow or the hammer goes right through the paint, the structure of your home has already been or is almost eaten away. When your home is at this point, it’s important to get help right away. The cost of repairing your home from termite wood damage can be devastating, so it’s important to act quickly.
How Do Termites Get Into Your Home?
How termites invade homes depends on the type of termite. The two most common types of termites in Louisiana are Eastern Subterranean termites and Formosan termites. Each has its own unique way of entering homes. The following are common ways these termites enter your home:
- Pathways through underground mud tubes.
- Cracks or small openings in your home's foundation that allow them to enter or continue building mud tunnels.
- Wood to ground contact.
- Through swarming between February to March, or during May.
Do You Have a Termite Infestation?
If you have noticed any of these signs, or you are interested in proactively protecting your home, it’s important to call a termite specialist right away. Delta Pest Services provides free termite inspections and estimates for homes and businesses in Baton Rouge and throughout Southeast Louisiana. The sooner you call, the better the chances of saving your home from a termite infestation. Don’t become a victim to termites. For effective termite treatment and prevention in Southeast Louisiana, schedule an appointment with us today.