How do you know your home is already in great danger due to termite infestation? From shelter tubes to damaged hollow wood, learn the 5 warning signs.
5 Termite Infestation Signs You Should Watch Out For
Hello, fellow homesteaders! Winter is almost over, and I know you're preparing your garden for the spring (oh, I love spring!). But before you get too excited, why don't you grab some tea and perhaps comfort food for a bit because we're going to talk about something important today. Now, this isn't for the faint-hearted – and I certainly wish I won't have to mention it – but a lot of us live in cozy homes with a lot of wood. Before they destroy your home's structure, learn these termite infestation warning signs:
Termite Infestation Sign #1: Shelter Tubes And Tunnels
There are three general types of termites that can invade your home: subterranean termites, dampwood termites, and drywood termites. Of the three, subterranean are the most common, and they usually live in the soil. The others are in the wood they eat. Either way, all of them consume wood since it's rich in cellulose. To help them transport food from their home to the source (and vice versa), they make shelter tubes and tunnels, which can look like the one above or random linear patterns on the floor or wall. These tubes and tunnels make good disguises too (not really, though, as you can see them).
Note not all instances of termite infestation will lead to the appearance of these tubes and tunnels because these insects can be REALLY tricky. But if you happen to see them, there is a 100 percent chance termites are in your home.
Termite Infestation Sign #2: Termite Wings
Winged termites are swarmers, and during certain seasons, especially during rainfall, they fly. However, male and female winged termites also reproduce. When they're ready to build their colony, they come to the ground and shed their wings. What does this mean? It's possible your problem has gone from bad to worse since these termites may be forming another colony. If that isn't enough, the cycle continues as long as these termites can have a king and a queen.
Termite Infestation Sign #3: Swarm
To be clear, to see a swarm doesn't immediately mean there's already an infestation. If you happen to see one in your yard or woodpile, then it's not much of a concern since they're in their natural habitat. However, you should start thinking about a termite treatment if you can already see them, winged or not, near your doors, windowsills, and even underneath the home. They're more likely have a chance to get in without you knowing it.
Termite Infestation Sign #4: Wood Damage
Do you know the food sources for termites? Well, you have plastic and paper. But the ultimate meal for them is plant matter, to be more specific, wood. And wood is one of the most basic materials for a home's foundation.
It's not easy to spot wood damage due to termite infestation, and usually, when you do, it means the problem is already quite severe. Nevertheless, if you do your due diligence and check on your baseboards, floors, edges of your windows and doors, ceilings, and other parts of the home where moisture and wood are abundant, you may see some signs of wood damage. Another way is to hit the wood with a screwdriver or anything hard. If it sounds hollow, then you should start drilling a hole and check the inside condition of the wood.
Termite Infestation Sign #5: Tighter Doors And Windows
Although there are many reasons why doors and windows become tighter and more difficult to close, one of these is actually the presence of a termite swarm or colony. As they devour wood, they also produce moisture. Moisture, in turn, causes the wood to warp, therefore tightening the gaps.
WARNING: This may upset you, but it's actually one of the signs of termite infestation. They do make sounds, which can range from the rustling noise of the worker termites or the headbanging of the soldiers.
Based on the list above, do you think you have a termite infestation in your home? Homesteaders, it's always best to be safe than sorry later. Go check every nook and cranny of your house. Use this as your guide when doing your inspection. Note though there are ways to eliminate termites by yourself, when you feel you can't do it, always call an expert.
Do you know of other signs of termite infestation? Let the rest of the community know about it. We'll be glad to add them to this list as well. Meanwhile, learn to take care of your home using DIY natural household cleaners and essential oils.
Featured image via buzzle