Have you ever looked in your refrigerator and found a bite taken out of something you planned on eating later? Even though it is just one bite, knowing that someone has eaten something that is yours can be frustrating, and that’s just with food. Imagine for a second finding a million tiny bites taken out of the wood of your home. How mad would you be then? Hopefully, this isn’t the case for your home. To find out for certain, here is an ultimate guide to spotting termite damage.
What Are Termites?
Termites are hungry little insects that feed on wood and other cellulose-based items. Out in nature, termites will build nests of sprawling tunnels underground. At the center of each nest are reproductive termites (kings and queens). These rulers instruct their workers to gather food and have their soldiers keep them safe. Once a colony has grown to full capacity, kings and queens will produce what is known as termite swarmers. These winged termites are tasked to scout out new locations to build a nest. If a structure of wood is large enough, it is not uncommon for several colonies to feed off of it at the same time.
A single fully mature colony of termites can consume a 2×4 worth of wood in about six months. Although this isn’t a severe amount of damage, what can cause the most damage to homes is the fact that termites are so silent in the way they invade and eat wood. Most often infestations go unnoticed for years, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Signs Of A Termite Infestation
It is only after severe damage occurs that signs of termite damage become noticeable. Tight-fitting doors and windows are one example of this. As termites chew tunnels through walls, moisture is allowed to seep into the wood. This moisture causes wood to expand throughout homes causing doors and windows to become harder to open and close. Termite related moisture can also cause paint and wallpaper to bubble and sometimes tear. Overly squeaky floorboards, dipping ceilings, and buckling support beams are even more noticeable signs that can point to termite damage.
The only early signs related to termite damage are mud tubes and tiny holes. Mud tubes can be found running up the exterior foundation of homes and are used by the termites to cross from moist soil to moist wood. Tiny holes chewed out of the wood of your home are for ventilation. These holes may have frass (termite droppings) around them or on the floor directly below. We should mention that these signs are not always present or are extremely difficult to spot.
To know for certain if your home has a termite infestation, let the professionals at Romney Pest Control have a look. Our pest technicians have the equipment and experience needed to spot termite infestation in all stages of development. We would be happy to assist in identifying a problem or the lack of one around your Houston home.
How To Prevent Termites
After you know your home does not have termites, try these tips to keep it that way:
- Address moisture problems inside your home and around your property.
- Repair or replace wood that has been water damaged.
- Make sure all of the structural wood of your home is properly treated and finished.
- Avoid using old, untreated wood to repair your home.
- Store firewood/untreated lumber at least 30 feet from your home’s exterior.
- Eliminate debris and clutter from your yard.
- Avoid using wood-based mulch near your home’s exterior.
- Trim back branches and shrubs from the exterior of your home.
For more help preventing termites, or to have a current infestation eliminated, get the experts at Romney Pest Control involved. We will thoroughly handle any termites causing damage around your property and set up long-lasting and effective defense measures to ensure these wood-eating menaces stay away. Give us a call today to discuss your termite control options or to get a free quote for your Houston home.