SIGNS OF A TERMITE PRESENCE
Posted By SafeGuard Pest Control Administrator
A Bensalem homeowner who discovers a termite infestation could be forced to spend up $3,000 or more to repair the damage. That is a staggering amount of money that most people are unprepared to spend. How does the situation get so out of hand?
The answer is that these pests are sneaky. As their name implies, subterranean termites spend virtually their entire lives beneath the surface of the ground. When they do enter manmade structures, it often is through cracks in the foundation or other tiny openings. Then, they begin feeding on the building's structural elements. This feeding takes place in basements, crawl spaces and beneath floors, places that people rarely venture. Accordingly, the problem becomes widespread before it is noticed.
Fortunately, homeowners can protect their investment by arranging for an inspection by a licensed termite technician at any time. The technician can determine whether or not an infestation is underway. If not, then he can make recommendations regarding steps the homeowner can take to ensure that their property is less attractive to termites. If an infestation is ongoing, the technician will suggest appropriate treatment methods.
Termite inspectors may look for these signs of an infestation:
EVIDENCE OF TERMITE SWARMERS
Frequently, the first noticeable sign of a termite infestation is the presence of swarmers. These winged members of the termite colony are capable of reproduction. In the spring and summer, they fly out of their nest to mate and start new colonies.
These swarms can be quite dense and difficult to miss. When they occur immediately outside of a structure or within it, this can be a sign that the building is infested. Even if the human occupants of the home do not see the swarm, the termites typically leave behind a large supply of shed wings, a clear indication that a swarm has occurred.
Termite technicians are experts when it comes to identifying wood that has been damaged by termites. Because subterranean termites cannot survive for long periods in the open air, they construct complex galleries in wood. They carefully refrain from damaging the exterior of the wood, which means that the lumber looks perfectly intact from the outside.
However, tapping on that wood with a tool like a screwdriver produces a hollow sound. This wood also can easily be pierced with the tip of the tool. The inspector knows which lumber is most likely to be affected by subterranean termites. Typically, the wood is untreated in any way, and it may be damp most of the time. These characteristics make it easier for the termite to infest it. Knowing this, the technician will look for these issues when determining whether or not an infestation is ongoing.
TERMITE MUD TUBES
Subterranean termites cannot survive exposure to the elements. Consequently, they are rarely seen in the open. When they travel from place to place, they do so with tunnels or mud tubes that the workers build from wood particles, dirt and saliva. Mud tubes make it possible to traverse the distance between the nest and the food source without being exposed.
Mud tubes typically appear on the slabs or walls of foundations. They also may be found in the piers for a crawl space or on floor joists. These brown tunnels, which are approximately the width of a pencil, are a telltale sign of a termite infestation.
SCHEDULE A TERMITE INSPECTION
Homeowners who suspect that they may have a termite infestation are encouraged to contact a licensed exterminator with all possible speed. The infestation may have been ongoing for years, which translates to extensive structural damage that must be repaired. Early action may minimize the damage and how much it costs to fix.
Fortunate homeowners will only be required to make cosmetic repairs if the infestation is caught early enough. Others will be forced to spend thousands of dollars to address structural issues that threaten the livability of their home. Either way, a termite inspection is the only way to correctly identify the problem.
Diagnosis of a termite infestation is only the beginning. The technician will suggest treatment and exclusion methods that the homeowner may choose to ensure that their property will once again be termite free.
For the past 20 years, SafeGuard Pest Control has been assisting area homeowners with all of their termite prevention and eradication needs.