How to Identify a Termite Infestation?
Termites are social insects, living in colonies under the ground and feeding on wood. The pesky critters can be found throughout North America, but they’re especially prevalent in Southern states. And while they don’t do nearly as much damage to buildings as other pests like ants, termites are still a major nuisance. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, when functioning normally, termites are quite beneficial. They help plants get rid of excess soil and play a role in forest regeneration.
The good news is that homeowners can take steps to minimize termite damage and stop them from building nests on their property. The bad news is that it can be very difficult to detect an infestation with certainty because termite colonies are so secretive and well-designed. If termites have become a nuisance to your property, then it would be better to seek professional pest control services. A professional exterminator will be able to detect an infestation with a high degree of certainty and give you the best advice on how to control the problem.
Here is how you can find out if your house has a termite infestation.
- Mud tubes
Termites leave behind mud tubes, which are long tunnels left in the soil that allows the termites to travel between nests. Termites make these tubes by cutting a small hole in the grass, then filling up the tunnel with mud and debris. These tunnels are a sure sign of termite activity and can be found on lawns and gardens.
- Termite nests
Termites make lumps of mud in their subterranean chambers, then build a dome around it called a “nest.” Nests can be found in areas such as windowsills, inside walls, or around pipes and conduits. It’s easy to find a termite nest by looking for exposed mud tubes, but this could mean that the colony has already been eliminated.
- Shed wings
Shed wings occur when winged termites exit their nests and fly to another location. If you suspect a termite infestation, check nearby walls, fences, trees, and other structures for shed wings. If you come across one of these little black specks surrounded by cast skin, it’s a good indicator that there’s a termite infestation in your house.
Termites excrete feces from their hindguts as they ingest wood, mostly around the nest or when foraging for food. These unsightly piles are usually dark brown or black in color and will often appear in large numbers as the colony grows larger. You may also spot small piles of damaged wood inside your home.