4 Red Flags that Indicate a Termite Infestation

Termites are serious pests that cause billions of dollars in damage to homes every year. Many homeowners aren't even aware that they have a termite problem until it's too late, and those structure eating pests have already caused tons of damage. Best Pest Control has over 25 years of experience under our belts, and termite inspection and treatment is one of our specialties. While routine annual termite inspections are the best way to determine if there's a problem, there are some telltale signs you should be watching for.

Watch for Swarmers
You will generally see these winged termites in the Spring when the weather is warming up and often after it rains. This is when the young leave their nests and head out to mate and start colonies of their own. They are small and very similar to flying ants, but there are ways to tell them apart.

straight waist
straight antennae
wings are the same length
shed their wings

pinched waist
bent antennae
wings are different lengths
do not shed their wings

The will leave their old nests by the hundreds. You may see them flying near windows, and keep an eye out for their discarded wings.  It can be helpful to trap a few in a jar to show your pest control expert if you get the chance. Also, watch the spiderwebs near your home. These are great at trapping the swarmers.

Look for Mud Tubes Near the Foundation 
Termites need a moist environment to survive. When they are not underground or inside a piece of wood, they will build small, tube-like tunnels  out of mud and cellulose to travel in. These may look to you like little brown straws, and can usually be found around your foundation, water pipes, crawl spaces, the attic and the basement. A trick for determining whether or not a tube that you find is still active is to remove a piece of it. If it is still in use, the present termites will repair the missing section.

Follow the Dirt Trail
Termites will fill in any small cracks or holes where they are building their nest. They will use mud like a type of "cement" to block the air flow and hold in moisture. If you notice dried dirt anyplace that it should not be, this could be what you are looking at.   

Check for Hollowed Wood 
Termites eat wood from the inside out, which is another reason that it is difficult to know that they are present early on. Whenever you are inspecting your home or making small repairs, pay special attention to any wood that sounds hollow when tapped on. If one spot sounds different than another similar piece of wood, this is definitely a sign that you should inspect for termites. 

Keep a close eye on wood construction material, fences, firewood, and fallen branches. Wood isn't always the only place that you will see termite damage though. It can also be present in things that can remain damp, like insulation, plaster, even old books.

Call on Best Pest Control!
Termites can cost you a lot of money if not taken care of, and most insurance policies do not cover this type of damage. If you notice any one of these signs, give Best Pest Control a call for a free estimate.  You can trust both our professionalism and expertise to get rid of any problems that are already there, and to prevent any in the future.


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