6 Signs You Have Termites In Your Home
Your home is one of your biggest investments, but it only takes a colony of termites to hollow out everything you have worked for. These tiny pests stay hidden, making them difficult to identify until most of the damage is done. If you discover any of these signs of a termite infestation, call a certified termite control company like Delta Pest Services right away to stop the termite damage in its tracks.
Piles of Shed Wings
One of the early signs of termites is finding broken wings around your doors, exterior lights, windows, or yard. Depending on the time of year, the shed wings can indicate that a termite swarm is nearby or a colony has already been formed. Subterranean and Formosan termites discard their wings after they swarm in the spring, 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 living in your home.
Piles of Termite Pellets Left Behind
Drywood termites not only shed their wings, but they also leave piles of feces pellets -also known as frass- near doors, windows, or even crawl spaces. The pellets 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 than Subterranean and Formosan, these termites account for 5% of all termite damange 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. Most people discover the kick-out holes of drywood termites in their home after finding a pile of termite feces near the area. However, unless you are a licensed termite expert, 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 your pest company immediately.
Mud Tubes Near the Foundation of Your Home
Because termites must avoid sunlight to retain moisture, these destructive pests create funnels to enter into 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 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 big colony living there.
Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage 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. So, 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. The similar signs between water and termite 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 contact a termite extermination company right away. The cost of repairing your home from termite damage can be devastating, so it’s important to act quickly.
How Do Termites Get in my Home in the First Place?
How termites invade homes depends on the type of termite. When it comes to observing termite behavior and eliminating the problem at the source, Delta Pest Services is the termite expert. The two most common types of termites in Louisiana are the Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan termites. Each has their own unique way of entering homes.
Both termite species live underground and create mud tubes, which they use as a damp tunnel system to travel from place to place. Through these underground tunnels, subterranean termites create a pathway to a home’s foundation. Once these pesky insects reach the foundation, they look for any crack or small opening that will allow them to enter and continue building their mud tunnels into the wooden structures of the house.
The second way they enter the home is through a swarm. Eastern subterranean termites typically swarm in South Louisiana starting at the end of February and continuing through the end of March. They usually swarm in daylight hours. Formosan termites typically swarm around the first of May and will last through the end of the month. Formosan termite swarms predominately happen at night, and they are attracted to street lights and lights inside homes in the area they are swarming.
Think You Might Have a Termite Infestation? Call the Experts.
If you have noticed any of these signs, it’s important to call a termite specialist right away. Even if you haven’t seen any of these signs of a termite infestation, don’t wait for the problem to arise. Delta 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 prevention and treatment in southeast Louisiana, schedule an appointment with Delta today.