You might have heard about homeowners who have had to pay thousands of dollars to treat and repair termite damage. Termite damage is common, so there is a chance that you may have to deal with it at some point. These wood-destroying insects may be eating away at your home and will continue to do so until you identify them and treat your property. Understanding the signs of termites in your home will help you to take action when needed.
Why You Need to Know the Signs of Termites In Your Home
When you understand the signs of termites in your home, you may easily and quickly be able to determine if you have an infestation. However, the signs are not always obvious. While you may see insects crawling around in or on wood surfaces, they most often are hidden from view and will continue to damage your home until you take action. Here are a few signs of termites in your home that you should regularly look for.
1. Mud Tubes
Some types of termites live below the ground and build mud tubes to reach the wood. These tubes are often seen on wood fences, firewood piles, or even on exterior wood surfaces of your home. The mud is typically dry and you can break away a portion of the tube to reveal termites inside.
In some cases, the tube will be empty. This can indicate a previous infestation, which means that termite damage has already occurred in the area. Break an opening in the tube and if it is repaired the next day, you know you have active termites.
2. Wood That Sounds Hollow
When you knock on wood surfaces, you should hear a dense sound. Since termites eat away on the inside of wood, when you knock on wood that is infested with termites or was previously infested, you may hear a hollow sound. If you push on the wood, you may even be able to easily flake off a piece to view the interior damage.
3. Wood-Colored Droppings
When you are looking for signs of termites in your home, you may notice wood-colored droppings on the ground near the infested area. These droppings look like fine shavings and are called frass. If you notice frass piles around your home, you should schedule a termite inspection to determine if termites are eating away at wood surfaces nearby.
4. Insect Wings
Many people do not realize that termites are flying insects. Winged termites will take to the air to start a new colony elsewhere. If you notice a swarm of flying insects near your home or if you notice some of their wings on window sills, a termite inspection is in order.
These are common signs of termites in your home, but the only surefire way to tell if you are dealing with an infestation is to schedule an inspection. The inspector can determine if an infestation is active or if termites have damaged an area of your home and left.
Because termites can leave wood hollow and fragile, damaged areas should be replaced as soon as possible. Furthermore, the home should be treated to kill termites and to prevent them from returning.
Jamie Schaefer Professional Home Inspector provides termite inspections with home inspections at no extra cost, or as a standalone service. Contact us to schedule an inspection in Metropolitan New York.