How to tell if you have termites

How to tell if you have termites
Termites are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They are capable of incredible damage and can go undetected for a long time.

While there are not often obvious signs of termite presence in your home, you can look for some of the more subtle indications to eradicate them before too much harm is done.

If you notice any of these symptoms contact a professional as soon as possible.

The most important measure is to have an expert inspect your home periodically with professional equipment.

They’re noisy 

One thing people don’t often know about termites is that they can be heard from within a wall. If you suspect that termites could be living in your walls listen out for the sound of them eating. They also make other noises to communicate with the rest of the colony, so if you hear sounds coming from within the wall, call a professional as soon as you can.

They swarm 

You won’t always see flying termites if you have an infestation, but if you do see them it is a cause for alarm. When termites leave the colony they swarm, usually near a light source or after rain. They are looking for a mate to establish a new colony with, potentially in your house. You might notice their discarded wings lying around once they have moved into their new home. You can keep an eye out for flying termites by inspecting the bugs you find flying around your home.

They look like white ants 

If you notice an insect which looks like an ant crawling around your home, look again. Termites can resemble ants at first glance, but their light colour sets them apart. Both ants and termites can have wings and they display similar behaviour. However, there are no ants which are white in colour so it is easy to determine whether an insect is in fact an ant or a termite. Termites are sometimes referred to as white ants, but they are very much termites.

Your timber sounds hollow 

Hollow timber sounds distinctly different than solid timber. Knocking and listening for differences in sounds can be a useful method of finding termite damage. Termites eat from the middle of a piece of timber, working out to the edges. By leaving the top layer of wood intact they maintain the humid environment they like and avoid detection. They eat all but a very thin layer of wood, so be careful how hard you knock! 

You find droppings or trails 

Termite droppings are pushed out of the entrance to the nest. You can keep an eye out for termite droppings by looking for a black powder-like substance around the inside and outside of your home. Look around areas where your home meets the earth, in particular places which might be damp. These are where termites will likely enter your home. If your house has cracks in the exterior it’s important to inspect these as well. It can be difficult to find trails which are concealed inside the structure of the house, but evidence can be seen at the entrance, particularly in droppings.

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