Termite droppings in pile near house

Termites are small, social insects that excavate extensive colonies inside of wooden structures. Should they get into your home or business, they can cause a lot of dangerous – not to mention costly – damage. While they can be difficult to detect, it’s important to identify and treat infestations as early as possible. 

Whether you’re worried you may have termites or just want to protect your property, here are some pro tips to help you determine whether you might have an infestation. 

Where Do Termites Live?

Termites are a widespread pest across the United States, with the exception of Alaska. They tend to thrive in warmer climates but can adapt to various environments and climates as long as they have a cellulose food source. Some termites require soil for survival, while others prefer dry wood above ground level. 

Common Signs of Termites

Spotting a termite infestation early is key to minimizing damage and treatment costs. That said, it’s pretty rare to see these insects outside of their nest, which is why you should look for other common signs of termites:

  • Mud Tubes: These are tunnels made of soil and termite saliva that termites use as a protected pathway between their nest and food source. Mud tubes are typically found along the foundation, in crawl spaces, or on wooden structures. They indicate an active termite presence and can vary in size depending on the termite species.
  • Swarmers (Alates): Winged termites, also known as swarmers or alates, leave the nest to mate and establish new colonies. They are attracted to light and are often seen swarming around windows, doors, and light fixtures, especially in the spring or fall.
  • Discarded Wings: After mating, swarmers shed their wings, which can be found in small piles near windows, doors, and other entry points. Finding discarded wings indoors is a strong indication of a nearby termite infestation.
  • Frass (Termite Droppings): Termite droppings, known as frass, resemble sawdust or coffee grounds. They are expelled from termite tunnels and can accumulate in small piles below kick-out holes. Frass is a sign of drywood termite activity and should be carefully inspected.

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

In most cases, termite damage starts small and nearly unnoticeable. However, as the colony grows and gets increasingly destructive, the damage can become pretty apparent. Signs of termite damage include:

  • Bubbling Paint or Discolored Drywall: When termites feed within walls, moisture can accumulate and cause paint to bubble or drywall to sag or appear discolored. This is often mistaken for water damage but can indicate a termite infestation.
  • Tight-Fitting Doors and Hard-to-Open Windows: As termites consume wood, they can cause structural changes, such as doors and windows becoming difficult to open or close due to their altered shape.
  • Hollow Wood: Termites feed on wood from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer of timber or just the paint covering. You may notice hollowed or damaged wood that sounds hollow when tapped. This is a sign of advanced termite damage.

Where to Look for Termites

Termites thrive in environments that offer them access to moisture and a steady food source. They can be found in various locations both inside and outside of homes. Understanding where to look for termites is helpful to finding infestations early. When checking for termites, remember to look in these areas:

  • Crawl spaces
  • Basements
  • Wooden beams
  • Attics
  • Window frames
  • Wooden furniture
  • Exterior walls
  • Drywall
  • Firewood piles

What to Do If You Think You Have Termites

If you suspect you have a termite infestation, it’s crucial to contact a professional pest control service immediately. Termites can cause significant damage to your home’s structure, and early detection is key to preventing costly repairs. A professional pest control technician has the expertise and tools to accurately identify the type of termite, assess the extent of the infestation, and recommend the most effective treatment. 

For reliable and thorough termite removal and prevention services, consider Bug Out. They offer comprehensive solutions tailored to your specific needs, using state-of-the-art techniques and eco-friendly products. Bug Out provides year-round monitoring to detect and prevent termite infestations before they become a problem. Give us a call today to get started.

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