Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Tell if You May be Hosting a Termite Invasion

Regardless of how well your life may be going, as a homeowner, you always need to consider the threat termites can pose to you. Not to say that you should be checking for them on a daily basis, but it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the many signs of termites being present in your home. If they aren't taken care of immediately, the termites can carve a path of destruction across your house, especially if you have many furnishings made from wood.

Contrary to what most people believe, termites aren't only active during spring. While it is a time of elevated activity where swarms are most easily detectable, termites stay engaged in their wood-eating activities throughout the entire year. There are many different types of termites, but they all resemble ants with wings, having six legs, two antennae and are about half an inch in length. They prefer to hide in dark and humid environments, meaning that you will probably have to make some efforts when searching for them.

One of the most common signs of termites you are likely to find in your house is hollowed out wood. If you believe that you are the victim of an infestation, go around your house and knock on your wooden items, especially furnishings such as night stands, tables and chairs (anything that is in contact with the ground basically). As mentioned above, termites prefer dark and humid environments to nest it, and so they usually eat wood from the inside out, safely staying away from the watchful human eye and in total comfort. Needless to say, if you tapped a piece of wood and it sounded hollow, then you’d better check it for termites, or at least signs of their presence.

While some signs of termites may be a bit harder to detect, this one isn't: groups of winged insects as well as discarded wings. Needless to say, one can always easily identify a swarm of insects when it's in their house, especially when said insects tend to discard their wings. The winged termites are generally referred to as "swarmers," and their functions are mainly reproductive as they are in charge of finding new colonies for their brethren to live in. If you have spotted some in your house, get ready for the possibility of there being a full-scale infestation.

If you are being invaded by subterranean termites, your best bet at finding them would be to look for mud tubes on the outside walls of your house. The termites build these tubes in order to make sure their environment remains moist while they are busy scavenging for food. If possible, try to store any wood-related supplies away from your house as much as possible, for as you can guess, they tend to attract the termites like nothing else.

Finally, there is the king of signs of termites: Frass, a more or less polite term used to designate excrements dropped by termites. As it happens, eating through wood requires termites to constantly make space in their bodies, which leads them to make frequent droppings while eating. They are tiny wood-colored, and pellet-like in shape, and wherever the termites dig, you are going to find them.

Should you confirm the presence of a termite infestation in your house, it is highly advisable that you get in touch with a termite extermination agency; the longer the problem persists, the higher the chances of your house becoming irrecoverable.

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