Termites are caused by rising temperatures, moisture, light intensity, wind, and air pressure. Termites swarm in the spring in many parts of the country, but they also swarm in the fall when conditions are favorable. Termites may not be detected until it is too late.
The best way to protect your home and family from a termite infestation is to know their signs. Here are three signs of a termite infestation:
- Wood Damage
Termites are not the same as wood-boring beetles when it comes to wood damage. Certain beetle species lay their eggs on or near a wooden surface. The larva then bores into the wood over a period of months (or perhaps years), leaving behind bores the size of paper-punch holes. Many people who have lived in the city their entire lives have never seen a wood-boring larva, although they may have heard scraping noises emanating from wooden doors and furniture in moments of calm. While these beetle larvae can cause harm to your furniture or cabinets, they do not consume the wood completely. Instead, they leave a tunnel that a carpenter can readily seal.
Termites, on the other hand, willfully consume the wood beneath the surface. Any external holes that they create are quite minor (about the size left by a needle prick). Termite-produced wood dust is also much coarser and heavier than a beetle-produced fine powder. So, what does it all mean? Whether you come across a small hole in the wood, tap the area around it to determine if it feels hollow. Only substantial termite damage will cause the outer layer to break or generate a hollow sound. In any event, you should consult with a professional to identify whether the hole was produced by termites or beetles. If it is termites, you will undoubtedly want the services of a professional termite control agency.
- Mud Tubes
Next, look for mud tubes on your land. Mud tubes resemble slender veins running over the side of your house. These tubes emerge from the earth and gravitate toward regions with exposed wood.
If you discover mud tubes, you can determine whether or not you have an active termite infestation by breaking off a portion of the mud tube and inspecting it for live termites. Even if you don’t locate any right away, return later to see if the tube has been fixed.
Even if you don’t detect any traces of living termites and the mud tube isn’t fixed, you’re not out of the woods. Termites may have relocated to another area of your home or property where they have easier access to a food source.
- Termite Swarms
Termite swarms are abundant on warm, humid evenings, especially in the late monsoon. Each of these enormous winged termites has the potential to become the queen of a new colony. Termite swarms are typically localized. However, some individuals may be capable of flying hundreds of meters. A swarm implies an established colony about to spawn additional colonies.