You have likely seen the infamous image of a tented home – it looks almost like the circus took over someone’s entire home and made it their playground – whether in person or in pictures. And most people know what this infamous tenting means – termites.
Termites are the detritivores, or detritus feeders, that eat away at your home and are one insect that every homeowner hopes they never have to encounter.
Unfortunately, the destructive pests can happen to anyone, but having regular and thorough inspections of your home can help you avoid them and detect their infestation early should you still manage to have them.
While we always recommend that you hire a professional, here are a few signs of termite infestation that you can regularly watch for so that you know when it is imperative that you bring an expert in for elimination:
1. Flying termites
Usually, the first sign of a full-blown termite infestation is termites themselves. Male and female termites will eventually mature and leave the nest, and once they do, they fly around looking for a mate to start a new colony with.
If you see flying termites hanging around your home, you are either already in danger of an infestation or might soon be. Nip the problem in the bud from the beginning!
2. Frass (termite droppings)
Rat droppings are a tell-tale sign of rats, and termite droppings – or frass – are no different.
3. Sagging floors
Similar to hollow sounding timber, floors can also begin to sag as the termites eat away the flooring material.
4. Tight-fitting doors
A tight-fitting door could be a sign of damp, hot weather, but it can also mean termites are present.
Termites create moisture when they eat, so if you have a tight-fitting door, go ahead and get it checked out – better safe than sorry.
5. Power failure
You might be wondering what involvement termites would have in a power outage, considering their insatiable appetite for wood is what they are infamous for. However, things like your wiring can get in the way of their desired meal, leading them to nibble on cords, too.
6. Cracked paint or plaster
Cracked paint or plaster is what the outside signs of termite infestation in your walls look like. So, hollow timber on the inside, cracked paint or plaster on the outside.
7. Hollow sounding timber
While the timber might look structurally sound from the outside, termites tend to eat from the inside out, so the damage just isn’t quite visible yet. If you knock on an area and it sounds hollow, you might have a problem
8. White ants
It isn’t uncommon for people who have seen termites in their home to report seeing “white ants.” However, white ants don’t actually exist, so if you think you have seen one, then chances are you have probably actually seen a termite.
Differences in a termite include: lighter in colour, dead straight antennae, thicker waste, and symmetrical wings.
9. Head banging
No, we aren’t talking about what you do when you are at home alone listening to your favourite rock band. We are talking about head baning by the termites. That’s right, if you are wondering what termites sound like, wonder no more.
Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies when the colony is disturbed as a warning to signal danger to the other termites around them. Additionally, they are noisy eaters.
So, if it sounds like you have some teeny tiny rock concert-goers in your walls, you might need to call the exterminator.
10. Mud shelter tubes
Mud shelter tubes are what termites build for protection. Thankfully, like other insects, they do have to make a home and can be identified that way. These can be seen in brick foundations or architraves, among other places.
Termites happen to the best of us, but the damage can be minimal if caught early. Keep an eye out for a possible termite infestation and know when its time to call the professionals.