Termites are quite rare to find out in the open yet they can cause extensive damage that could cost you or your business a lot of money. Read on for 5 signs that you have a termite problem.
Termites tend to reside in dark and humid environments and can live on your property for an extended period of time before being detected. Therefore, to help keep damage to a minimum, it’s very important that you detect them early and act immediately when you do spot the signs. In this blog we will share a list of tips on how to spot signs of this elusive pest.
What are the signs of termites?
1. Mud tube/Mud Tunnel:
Subterranean termites usually connect their underground colonies to their above-ground food sources through the use of tunnels (or mud tubes). These tubes lock in moisture needed for the termite to survive and are made by mixing soil wood and the termites saliva. Mud tubes are often hard to see as they will be behind your walls or underground, but can sometimes be seen in your home’s brick foundations or in architraves. Spotting one of these tunnel is a great indication of the presence of termites.
2. Termite swarms or wings resembling fish scales left behind after swarms:
Often mistaken as “flying ants” termites swarm when looking for a new home for their colony. This often occurs when the original colony has reached a certain size and weather conditions allow for optimal flight. This is one the more outwardly visible signs of termite presence.
3. Papery or hollow sounding timber:
Termites usually eat wood from the inside out: this leaves a thin outer layer of wood resulting in a papery or hollow-sounding timber. When devouring wood termites often develop feeding galleries (burrows) leaving maze-like patterns as they travel between feeding various galleries within the wood.
4. Jamming window and doors:
Window and door jams could be the result of termites eating away at the wood – thus causing it to lose its structural integrity. This happens due to the moisture that’s introduced by the termites, causing the wood to warp from its original shape. This however isn’t a conclusive sign as weather conditions may also be the cause.
5. Frass (Termite droppings):
Frass is faecal matter often seen around wood that is infested by drywood termites. This happens when termites push it out of their galleries when tunnelling through the wood. They tend to push it out near the entrance and exit of their burrows in a bid to keep the tunnels clean. The frass looks like a powder that’s very similar to sawdust.
How Termites Infest your home/property:
Why you should act immediately when you spot signs of termites:
Termites cost US property owners an estimated $5 billion annually in damages and therefore, it’s important to act quickly when you have the slightest suspicion of an infestation.
Termite Control and Inspections:
We also often recommend that you have annual termite inspection by a qualified and experienced termite expert if you live in a high termite risk area. This will help you mitigate any possible problem and potentially save you thousands of Rands in the long run. The price of a pest control service likely to be significantly cheaper than the cost of the damage termites can inflict. For more information on termites, take a look at our termite FAQs.