Spotting Termite Damage

November 18, 2014

Believe it or not termites are ecologically beneficial because they break down wood detritus to add nutrients to soil.  Unfortunately, that is where the good news ends.  When most people hear the word termite they immediately think about the severe damage that termites cause to many homes.  In the worst instances termite damage can render structures unlivable until expensive repairs are conducted.  Let’s hope that that is not the ultimate consequence of a termite infestation in your home.  While interior damage may stay hidden until it is too late, here are some ways to spot termite damage quickly so that professionals can be called in to eradicate the problem.  

  • Termite damage may appear similar to water damage. Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings, areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage and visible mazes within walls or furniture.

  • Termite infestations also can exude a scent similar to mildew or mold.

  • Look for termite tubes.  Subterranean termites access above-ground food sources through mud tunnels they create from saliva, mud and feces. These tunnels are located near the foundation of infested homes.

  • Look for termite droppings – After consuming wood, drywood termites often leave behind frass or droppings. These tiny fecal mounds often indicate a nearby termite infestation.

  • Look for discarded wings – Termite swarms may take place inside or outside of a home as mature termites leave the nest to start new colonies. Soon after swarmers take flight, they shed their wings. Look for them in spider webs or on the floor of your basement.  

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