How To Spot A Termite Infestation Problem

Termites have a special place in our eco-system, but no one wants them in their home. In nature a termite helps add needed nutrients to the soil. This behavior is wonderful ecologically, but it can cause major damage to a house. These small pests feed mainly on wood, but a colony is capable of comprising the safety and strength of any structure.

Subterranean Termites

Termite infestations can be caused by subterranean termites. These creatures live underground in damp, loose soil. In the wild they leave behind a visible mound where their colonies live, but in the United States it is harder to determine if there is an infestation.

An infestation may be full blown before a homeowner notices any signs. The damage often appears as water damage. This is due to their need for moisture. The outward signs to look for include swollen ceilings and floors, buckling wood, areas suffering from slight water damage, and walls and furniture with visible mazes created by their tunneling actions.

There may also be an odor similar to that of mold or mildew. This type of termite will go above ground to look for food. They use mud tunnels created from their feces and saliva to escape. Homeowners need to watch for these tunnels around the foundation of the house.

Drywood Termites

A termite infestation can also be caused by drywood termites. They build colonies inside of the wood they are using for food. These pests are found inside of furniture and walls. Infestations often go unrecognized until they have burrowed so deeply that the veneer on an item cracks and exposes the maze of tunnels underneath.

This type of damage is most often found in antique furniture. If a homeowner finds similar damage in the walls or floors of a home, or in new furniture, they should be getting help from a professional pest control service that can determine the severity of a termite infestation and offer extermination options.

Termites do not limit their damage to wood homes. They have the ability to travel through metal siding, plaster, and other common building materials. Once inside, they feed off floors, cabinets, wooden furniture, and ceilings. Getting help before an infestation is visible is the best way to prevent damage. Homes should be routinely inspected by a professional to determine if there is an existing problem.