Termites are a nightmare to homeowners, because of their talent of hiding and destroying homes and other wooden structures undetected. These tiny creatures usually hide underneath the soil or wood surfaces and in mud tunnels making it easier for them to invade homes. They can enter our homes from the soil surface and then forage in the wood materials used to build our houses. Unfortunately, termites are very difficult to control when the infestation is severe, so extensive efforts to prevent and control termite infestations must be done once termite infestation is suspected.
The Common Entry Point Of Termites
Termites usually infest a home through the soil along its foundation. They can find their way into the house through utility conduits, cracks in the slab, plumbing connections and expansion joints. If there are wood structures in your home constructed in direct contact to the ground, such as decks and patios, you can expect problems as they are a warm invitation to termites. Since termites live in colonies in the soil, early detection can sometimes be very difficult.
Signs Of A Termite Infestation
Some believe that detecting a termite infestation early is impossible. However, there are three easy ways to indicate that you are dealing with unwanted visitors.
1. Mud Tubes
These tubes are actually foraging tubes that extend from the ground to the infested wood, which also provide shelter for termites. The mud tubes can be distinguished by their muddy appearance and flattened tubes having a width of a pencil. Unfortunately, the tubes are not easily seen because they are often located underneath flooring, along cracks and behind base boards. Sometimes, they can also be found extending over concrete foundations as well as other surfaces that are exposed.
2. Wood Damage
Another sign of termite infestation that is common in infested homes are the dark areas of blisters located in the wood flooring. Such damage is not always seen immediately as termites feed on the spring wood and not the grain and exterior surface. To check for any termite damage, the wood can be tapped on every inch using the handle of a screwdriver. The damage can be detected when you hear hollow sounds or when the screwdriver breaks through the wood because of the damage inside. In the event that the infestation is still active, you may find termites working inside.
You can also tell if you have a termite infestation, when there are winged termites emerging from swarming tubes located near the house. Since these termites are attracted to light, you can find them swarming around windows, lighting fixtures, vents and doors. When you find plenty of tiny termite wings left behind on windowsills and floors, you can be certain that you already have an infestation.
Termite infestation is sometimes caused by poor construction practices, as they provide termites with a certain amount of access into the structure. They can also create living conditions for termites as a sufficient amount of moisture is applied. As such, termite infestations can be prevented during construction and after the house has been built through treatments. When you detect termite infestation in your home, have it treated immediately before it can be severely damaged.
Valerie Adams is a mother of four specializing in pest control methods of InsightPest.com and termite control. She also provides homeowners with vital information as to how termites infest homes and how their infestation can be detected.