If there’s one pest we dread when moving to a new home, it’s termites. With over 300 termite species in Australia, a long-term termite infestation can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage if you leave the problem uncontrolled.
Therefore, it’s important to recognise signs of a termite infestation in any home or business you are thinking of moving to in order to protect yourself from extensive damages. If you’re not sure what to look for, keep the following signals in mind:
You might hear some clicking or dry rattling noises from within the walls on some occasions. These sounds are caused by soldier termites shaking their bodies vigorously and knocking their heads against some wood to warning their colony of nearby dangers.
Termites react to vibrations they feel since they are unable to hear sounds like we do.
Termite swarmers are mature termites that leave the nest either during spring or fall each year, although the exact time they “swarm” greatly varies based on species and weather conditions.
Most termites that swarm outside the house will go undetected since these events are very brief and often occur when the homeowners aren’t home.
Alternatively known as wood tunnels or mud tubes, these small networks are rarely seen from wood exteriors.
However, if you find one in your home, you can test if termites are still active by breaking off a small middle section of the tubes.
If the connections are rebuilt within several days, this signals the presence of active termites.
At times, the termites will also abandon this mud tube network and opt to create a new home elsewhere.
When termites are settling into your home, you might find termite cement, structures built by termites to seal off cracks and holes with mud.
Termites create the cement so they can minimise air flow and maintain some moisture in their own homes.
Contrary to common belief, termites do not actually cause these cracks or eat cement.
If your home’s flooring, walls or any other structures are made of wood, you might notice certain obvious termite damage signs, including visible cracks in any timber structures, blistering and sagging of floors, and most importantly, hollow-sounding wood when you knock or tap on the structures.
Checking for wood damage may be difficult, so it’s usually best to leave this task to an expert.
Mature termites will leave their nests to start new colonies, and they shed their wings upon finding a suitable spot.
As such, if you find small piles of discarded wings around your home – around the floors outside your house, on your window sills or in spider webs – you should start looking for other signs of termites in your house.
You can differentiate an ant’s wings from those of termites by observing their sizes. Termites’ wings are equally sized, but ants have one larger wing than the other.
Termite droppings, otherwise known as frass, look like small piles of brown sand. While frass doesn’t cause any damage to your house, it can manifest as a sure sign of termite issues.
If you notice frass around your house along with other signs described in this article, you should consider calling a pest-control team to avoid more damage in the future.
Image via Wikimedia Commons