How Do You Know if You Have a Subterranean Termite Problem?

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Termites devastate structures to the tune of billions of dollars in structural damages. Subterranean termites are a particular concern for homeowners, being one of the three main termite home invaders. Termites are busy all year round, as they build their nests in the ground and dig mud tunnels to assist themselves underground, making them really difficult to spot.

How do you know if you have a subterranean termite problem? They usually stay inconspicuous, infiltrating your home through holes in the foundation and consuming the structural timber of your house from here. If you hear sounds within your walls or floorboards, see droppings or termite wings, or notice damages on any wooden part of your space, it’s likely to be a termite infestation.

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Signs of Termite Damage

1) Sounds Within Your Walls or Squeaky Floorboards

When you hear strange noises emanating from behind your walls, you may have subterranean termite activity. Soldier termites pound their heads on the wood or shake their bodies because it serves as a warning to other termites about disruptions in the colony. 

Subterranean termites are extremely sensitive to even the tiniest movements and noises as it enables them to flee as soon as they detect danger. Worker termites make a lot of noise while they consume. When you press your ear against termite-infested wood, you can clearly hear the sounds termites make as they nibble through it.

2) Termite Droppings

Another common sign of termite activity is termite droppings, sometimes known as "frass." To avoid a buildup, termites digest the wood as they eat it and propel it out of the colony. Humans can only see frass from drywood termites, which are mostly found in southern coastal states. 

Frass from drywood termites is wood-colored and pellet-shaped, resembling wood dust or shavings. Subterranean termites, on the other hand, construct their mud tunnels using their droppings. 

3) Dead Termite Wings

Inside a home or wooden structure, termite swarmers are a telltale symptom of an active termite infestation. Workers, soldiers, and swarmers make up the caste system of termites. The reproductive termites of a colony are termite swarmers, also known as alates. 

They have 2 sets of big pale-colored wings that are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length, making them immediately identifiable. A swarmer removes its wings after leaving the colony and finding a mate.

Termite swarmers will most likely be seen flying over cities in the early spring when they emerge to search for mates and start new subterranean termite colonies. Swarmers are drawn to light, thus they congregate near doors and windows. 

Since swarmers don't live very long indoors, you could encounter dead swarmers or abandoned wings around window sills and entryways. Swarmers are frequently mistaken for flying ants because flying ants have constricted waists and 2 differently-sized pairs of wings, but termite swarmers have straighter bodies and 2 equally-sized pairs of wings.

4) Mud Tubes

Signs of termites can also be concluded by spotting mud tubes or termite tunnels. Mud tubes are like little veins that run down the side of your house. These tubes emerge from the ground and typically go in the direction of exposed wood and are used to defend themselves from the dryness of the air. 

The most frequent form of termite is subterranean termites, which have weak exoskeletons and dry up rapidly. As a result, they require a humid atmosphere to thrive. They may securely go from their colony to their food supply thanks to mud tunnels. If you detect mud tubes, cut off a section of the mud tube and look for live termites to see if you have an active termite infestation.

5) Damaged Wood or Walls

While feasting on cardboard and wood paneling beneath the surface of your walls, termites develop tunnels called termite galleries as well as tiny pinholes called exit holes. They do this sometimes without affecting the thin layer of paint or wallpaper on the surface, making this form of damage difficult to identify unless the paint or wallpaper is removed. As a result, termite damage is more likely to be discovered during house repairs and restorations.

Termites can also leave an odd look on painted or wallpapered surfaces. Termite damage can be seen beneath the surface if you look closely, such as: 

  • Termites have chewed into the wood, leaving little pinholes.
  • The paint on the wall coming off
  • Wallpaper that is peeling or faded
  • Wood that is buckling
  • Areas that have been dented or sunken
  • Lines that are narrow and sunk

6) Insulation Damage

Termites enter your home from the ground, and most homeowners can usually spot the damage in the lower levels of their home and take action before the termites get to the insulation in the walls or ceiling. However, should you miss your termite problem, it can cause issues. 

Termites don't consume the insulating materials, but they’ll gnaw through them to get to the wood, the food source they truly want. This can lead to a decrease in your home's energy efficiency, and heat or cooling capabilities, which can both lead to an increase in a higher energy bill.

7) Stuck Doors or Windows

If you have a window or door that has lately become stuck or considerably more difficult to open or close, then this might be a symptom of a termite infestation in the early stages. Termites like to attack areas where wood is exposed and easy to access, such as windows and door frames. As termites consume the wood in your windows and door frames, they may bend, making it difficult to open and shut correctly.

Termite damage can cause additional structural issues in your houses. Aside from blocked windows and doors, disintegrating baseboards or sagging floors and ceilings can also be signs. Meanwhile, other factors such as wood decay or seasonal fluctuations in humidity, might cause structural issues.

8) Hollow Wood

It might be a symptom of a subterranean termite infestation if you tap wood and it sounds hollow and appears papery. These bugs eat the wood from the inside out, leaving just a thin layer of wood or paint behind. To determine whether the bugs are present, check for blistered bits of wood near the supposed damaged area.

9) Moist Wood

Moisture-damaged timber attracts subterranean termites. They require moisture to exist and not only eat but also dwell in the wood. If your property has recently experienced water damage, you should inspect the wooden foundation for symptoms of termite infestation.

Termite Prevention

Termites create regions of wood-to-soil contact in crawl spaces and other locations beneath your home. You can prevent termites from infesting your space by keeping the tips below in mind:

  • Reduce the amount of dirt that comes into touch with your home's wood.
  • Clear the area surrounding the foundation of any timber, wood, mulch, paper, cardboard, or other cellulose-based material.
  • Stack firewood at least 20 feet away from your house, and keep it at least 8 inches above the ground.
  • Make a 4-inch barrier between your home and the ground. Only the concrete foundation should come into contact with the earth if possible.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 inches of clearance between the wooden siding and the earth.
  • Check for rotten or infected wood or wood debris if you have a wooden fence near your home. You may also apply termite-proof paint to keep termites from making a new colony on your fence.

PermaKill Exterminating - The Best Pest Control Service To Get Rid of Subterranean Termites

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A skilled eye is required to detect concealed termite infestations. PermaKill Exterminating’s team of pest experts carefully examines the extent of damage and infestation before recommending the best treatment plan for your property. 

PermaKill Exterminating is the smartest and safest choice for pest extermination in your home or business in New Jersey. We have the right tools, methods, and techniques to prevent and stop all kinds of pests and insects from invading and taking over your space. PermaKill Exterminating has a slew of other services to free your home from pests, no matter the termite type or termite species. Contact PermaKill Exterminating today to receive a free quote on our termite inspections and quotation.

Call us now at (973) 584 – 6414.

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No matter what kind of pest problem you’re dealing with, you can count on Pinnacle Pest Control to provide top-notch pest extermination services. With decades of experience under our name, we have already helped hundreds of residents and business owners in Sacramento eliminate pests in their property and keep them away for good.

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