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March 12, 2024

Identifying Signs of Termite Damage

Evidence of Termite Activity & Damage

Termites are small insects that feed on cellulose, which is found in many materials around the structure like wood, flooring, wallpaper, and other paper goods. They are social insects that live in colonies with a king, queen, soldiers, and workers. Termite infestations can persist for years, causing around the clock damage as they feed to sustain their colony.

Understanding termite behavior is helpful for proper identification of termite activity and damage to your home. By knowing their habits and preferences, you can better recognize the issue and take proactive measures to minimize potential damage to your property. Several common signs that indicate you may have a termite infestation include:

  • Hollow-sounding wood: Termites can eat wood from the inside out, leaving just a thin layer of paint or veneer intact. If you tap on a wooden surface and it sounds hollow or feels soft and brittle, it could be a sign of termite damage.
  • Presence of mud tubes: Subterranean termites build mud tubes as a protective tunnel between their nest and food source. These tubes are usually found along walls, foundations, or other above-ground surfaces they traverse while foraging.
  • Discarded wings: When termites swarm and establish new colonies, they shed their wings. Finding discarded wings near windows, doors, or other entry points could be a sign of a termite infestation.
  • Frass or termite droppings: Drywood termites produce and excrete tiny, distinct fecal pellets called frass. These droppings are flattened on 6 sides, resemble coffee grounds, and may accumulate near infested areas. The pellet color can be variable depending on what they are feeding on.
  • Sagging floors or ceilings: Extensive termite damage can weaken the structural integrity of a building, leading to sagging floors or ceilings. If you notice these signs, it's important to have a professional inspection as soon as possible.

If you observe any of these signs, take immediate action to prevent further damage and eradicate the infestation. Contacting a professional pest control company for an inspection and treatment is recommended. Explore the potential risks and learn more about your susceptibility to termite infestations by clicking HERE.

Damage Caused by Termites

Termites can cause significant damage to structures and property, leading to expensive repairs. Some of the common types of damage caused by termites include:

  • Structural damage: Termites feed on wood, weakening its structural integrity. This can result in sagging floors, warped walls, and even collapse in severe cases.
  • Damage to furniture and belongings: Termites can infest and damage wooden furniture, cabinets, and other household items that contain cellulose.
  • Damage to flooring: Termites can consume wooden flooring and subfloors, leading to hollow-sounding, squeaky, weakened, or otherwise damaged floors.
  • Damage to wallpaper and paint: Termites can chew through wallpaper and paint, leaving behind visible trails, kickout holes, or other damage.


Preventive Measures Against Termites

Taking preventive measures is key to reducing the risk of termite infestations and damage. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  • Remove wood debris and cellulosic materials from around your property, as they can attract termites.
  • Firewood should be stacked and stored off the ground and away from the house.
  • Avoid direct wood-to-soil contact by using concrete or metal barriers.
  • Ensure proper ventilation and drainage to prevent moisture buildup, especially near the foundation, as termites are attracted to moist environments.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain wooden structures, including decks, fences, and outdoor furniture.
  • Consider using termite-resistant materials when building or renovating your home.
  • Schedule regular professional termite inspections to detect any signs of infestation early on.

Professional Termite Inspection and Treatment

It's important to address termite infestations promptly to prevent further damage and protect your most valuable assets. Regular inspections, preventive measures, and help from a pest management professional can minimize the risk of termite damage to your home and property.

Professional pest control companies have the expertise and tools to accurately identify termite infestations and provide effective treatment options. During a professional termite inspection, trained technicians will thoroughly assess your property for signs of termite activity, damage, and conducive conditions. If an infestation is detected, they will recommend the most suitable treatment method and long-term solutions to prevent future infestations, as well as advice on preventative measures.

Remember, early detection and intervention are crucial when dealing with termite infestations. Don't hesitate to contact a professional pest control company if you suspect termite activity in your home or property.

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Heather Patterson

PCO Technical Services Manager

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