Unlike in the cartoons, termites don’t devour timber logs in the blink of an eye. It’s a gradual process, hard to detect, that can have devastating consequences. Each year, termites cause $40 billion in damages worldwide. In Australia alone, the damage is estimated to more than 100 million dollars.
Don’t become part of the statistic. If you don’t know the signs of termites, your home could be infested without your knowing. That could mean a nasty shock and some major repairs down the road. The sooner you can treat a termite infestation, the better off you’ll be.
It is necessary to regularly check for any signs of termites, especially if you heard about infested homes in your neighbourhood. The earlier you discover them, the better it will be for your family.
Are termites feasting on your home? Keep your investment safe and secure. Here are eight signs of termites that could prompt you to call a pest control service.
Signs of Foundational Damage
It’s easy to underestimate just how much of your home is composed of wood. Your walls, floors, and ceilings are attractive treats for a termite colony. Keep a sharp eye out for cracks or other signs of damage, such as a weak wooden floor.
But these are only the visible areas where termite damage might occur. Other wooden structures lie behind your walls, where it’s unlikely you have easy access.
Although stone, concrete, and other rock materials create much of a building’s foundational structure, wood still has its place. Support beams and floor joists could be at risk.
Those White Insects Aren’t Ants
Termites and ants are similar in size and shape. But if you’ve been overlooking white insects without giving them a closer inspection, it’s possible they’re actually termites. Keep in mind that ants are never white.
Termites have wide bodies and straight antennae. Not all termites have wings, but some do. If the white insects in your home have wings, check their size. On termites, both sets of wings are the same size. Termites also have a thicker waist section, while ants have it narrow.
The conclusion is that there are no white ants. So if you saw an insect that resembles a white ant, it was probably a termite and your home might be infested. You need to take action right away!
Why Is There Sawdust on my Floors?
Termite excrement, known as frass, can look similar to sawdust. It tends to accumulate near the entrances to their nests. If you suspect that some cracks in your home may be caused by termites, check the area for something that looks like sawdust.
During a close inspection, frass does differ from sawdust. Frass is typically darker in colour and shaped like pellets, rather than the loose wooden shavings.
Discarded Wings by the Window
After three to five years, a termite colony will have matured enough to produce flying termites. These are sometimes referred to as swarmers. Their purpose is to set off and create a new colony, of which your neighbours would certainly not approve.
Like most flying insects, these swarmers are attracted to bright light. They tend to congregate near doors and windowsills. You might also catch swarmers congregating in a pile during the early Summer when they seek to reproduce.
The appearance of discarded wings or a clump or winged insects likely warrants an immediate termite inspection.
Mud Tubes in Your Home
Mud tubes look just like their namesake. When you’re searching your home for signs of termite damage, be watchful of brown cracks no wider than a straw.
Subterranean species of termites are building such tubes for extra protection and moisture. They are made of mud and termite droppings and usually appear on walls, floors, beams, basement and exterior walls, mud tubes can also be found along the perimeter of your home.
Luckily, they are easy to spot and you should take action as soon as you see them.
Hollow Walls Are Signs of Termites
If termites are given enough time, they can severely weaken the integrity of your home. This happens when termites have devoured a significant portion of the wood. Generally, they eat wood from the inside out, meaning it will sound hollow when knocked.
This tends to only happen when a severe infestation has been left untreated. Tapping on the wall with a dense item, such as a screwdriver’s handle, could be forceful enough to shatter a weakened wood wall. If this ever occurs, there’s no doubt that termites have been snacking on your home.
Are Your Doors Sticking?
When termites are eating and tunnelling through a door or a window frame, It’s not abnormal for your doors or windows to become stiff and difficult to open or close. This normally occurs during periods of extreme heat or moisture. But if you’re having difficulty with your doors or windows even during the colder months, it could be a result of termite damage.
When termites destroy the wood around doorframes, they weaken them and introduce moisture to the area. These two factors can cause frames to shift or warp, which is why you’re having difficulty opening or closing doors and windows.
Clicking Sounds Behind the Walls
The most surprising fact about termites? You can hear them eat. And by headbanging, we don’t mean your own head, but those of the insects. The soldier termites are banging their heads against the wood or shake their bodies to signal danger to the others in the colony.
The worker termites, which are the one eating your home are making quite some noise when doing it. If you put your head close to a wood infested by termites, you will hear them.
And if you like to listen to rock music out loud, the termites will eat even more. A study has shown that when playing a rock song, termites ate wood two times faster.
They are sensitive creatures and can detect vibrations and noises through their antennas and legs. It is even thought that termites can detect the size of a piece of wood by using vibrations to measure it.
Do You Have Signs of Termite Damage? Watch the below video
If you encounter any of the signs of termites in your home, we advise an immediate inspection. Termites can cause a significant amount of damage in a short amount of time. Even if nothing is found during an inspection, it is often worth it for the peace of mind.
The Sunshine Coast region is at high risk for termite damage. If you live in the area, schedule a termite inspection. We can estimate the cost of your inspection online, so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.