What is the first sign of termites?
When termites enter home the first sign of a termite infestation is flying termites. These flying termites, also called swarmers or alates, are the males and females that have left a nest in search of a mate to establish a new colony. You may see them swarming at night around light sources, and most drywood species you see swarming. Spotting these flying insects is just one of the signs of termites in homes. Learn more about how to spot termites in the home by checking for the following signs of termites:
- Seeing blisters in the wood flooring: If you’re noticing what appears to be blisters in wood flooring, this could mean termites are feeding within it or below. Subterranean termite species damage the subfloor in a way that makes wood floors appear water damaged.
- Seeing hollowed or damaged wood: Damage to wood behind walls is evidence of a termite infestation. You’ll notice long grooves in the wood that weaken the wood. The wood may also appear hollowed or honeycombed.
- Finding discarded wings or other evidence of swarms: Once termites land, they twist off their wings, because they have found a place to establish a new colony. You may find these wings near windows, doors, and other access points.
- Finding mud tubes: In areas where the ground meets the house, you may find pencil-sized mud tubes, indicating subterranean termites have begun nesting underground.
- Noticing droppings: Drywood termites leave droppings that look like sawdust or coffee grounds.
While some damage caused by termites might look like water damage, when you have actual water damage, you’ll need to hire a restoration service to clean and restore your property.
Where do termites live?
In the U.S. three termite species, subterranean. Formosan subterranean, and drywood, are the primary species that cause damage to homes and property in the area. Both the subterranean and Formosan species build their nests underground access wood through pencil-sized tunnels called mud tubes. These tubes are signs of termites in homes. These species require soil to survive. Drywood termites, on the other hand, can survive anywhere wood is available as a food source. You can find them in the walls, in the wood framing in bathrooms, and even in furniture.
What do you do if you have termites?
If you’ve noticed signs of termites in homes like mud tubes or hollowed wood, or they’ve been found through a termite inspection, the termites can be removed. The earlier they’ve been discovered, the better, because they’re likely to have caused less damage than a long-term infestation. Usually, once you’ve found termites, you’ll need to get in touch with a pest control service to get rid of them.
Once your home has been treated for termites, and any repairs have been made, you can prevent their return through various means. By taking precautionary measures like trimming shrubbery away from the house and foundation and limiting mulch around the home, you can help prevent their return. You also want to keep firewood away from the base of the home, and make sure any moisture buildup or airflow problems are taken care of as soon as possible. Even with these preventative measures in place, always stay alert to the signs of termites in homes.
Can you treat for termites yourself?
If you already have an infestation, it’s usually best to enlist the services of pest control to remove the infestation. Preventative measures such as trimming back shrubbery can be taken as well. You may also apply termite control pesticides to infested areas, or around the base of the building as a preventative measure. There are also termite baits available that can be placed in the soil around the home to lure the insects out to kill them.
What kills termites naturally?
There are methods to kill termites naturally without using liquid pesticides or baits. Some natural methods include using nematodes, vinegar, borates or borax powder, orange oil or wet cardboard.
Nematodes are parasitic worms that eat termites.They can bought online or at specialty stores and placed in areas where the termites are or where you believe them to be. You can spray a mixture of half a cup of vinegar mixed with the juice of two lemons where the termites are. This mixture kills the termites on contact. Borax, which you can buy as a laundry detergent, can be sprinkled around the affected area, or mixed with water and sprayed on the area.
Orange oil, which can be bought at home improvement stores, can be sprayed directly on the termites to dissolve their exoskeletons. Regularly spraying orange oil around the home serves as a deterrent to infestation.
Wet cardboard can be placed near an infestation to draw the termites out. They will begin eating the cardboard. As they feast, you can burn the cardboard to kill them. This process will need to be repeated.
Termites in house for sale
Signs of termites in homes can be discouraging for homebuyers. If termites are found in a house for sale, it can be a deal breaker. When you see signs of termites in home in Fort Worth, TX, give CKA Home Inspections LLC a call at (817) 437-2397 for a termite inspection.