Despite their reputation, termites aren’t all bad. They actually benefit the environment by breaking down waste products as they introduce critical nutrients into soil.
Unfortunately, these silent invaders perform the same actions on your home, leaving a path of destruction. They feed mostly on wood, and they can significantly damage the structural integrity of buildings. Damage from termites can even make your home uninhabitable, requiring costly repairs.
Early action is critical for preventing extensive termite damage. By knowing the signs that you may have termites, you can work with a professional to quickly evict these destructive insects from your home before catastrophe strikes.
- Evidence of a Swarm
Winged termites on a mission to reproduce emerge from the ground in massive groups known as “reproductive swarms.” These swarms typically occur in the spring or early in the summer, and they include insects seeking a mate, reproduction and establishment of a colony. If you spot a pile of discarded wings in your basement, a termite colony may have taken up residence in your house.
- Construction Damage
Discovering damage during home construction or a remodel also may indicate a serious termite problem. The insects may have established a home base in your walls, resulting in significant damage. The best plan of action is consulting with pest management professionals who can address the problem and take steps to protect your home in the future.
- A Tell-Tale Home Inspection
If you’re buying or selling a home, an inspector may spot evidence of termites. In most cases, buyers will want to know if termites are active, which can be tough to determine. Since termites live inside walls, most of their activity is beyond view. But evidence of termites alone is no reason to abandon a deal, especially if damage is minimal. A professional can take steps to control termite activity and protect the property from further damage.
- Transit Tunnels
Narrow mud tubes running along your outside walls are evidence that termites have built tunnels between their nest and their source of food — the wood in your home. Tunnels along your foundation can indicate access by subterranean termites.
- Hollow Sounds
Have you noticed a wooden portion of your home that sounds hollow when you tap? Termites eat wood starting on the inside, so a hollow sound could indicate damage. If a professional finds a termite infestation, you’ll need to replace the wood and have your home treated to prevent future damage.
- Damage from Drywood Termites
Drywood termites live in the southern part of the United States, including North Carolina. They set up colonies in wooden structures and feed on the wood, either inside walls or in furniture. You may notice an infestation only once damage has become apparent, often manifesting as a cracked veneer that reveals tunnels underneath.