After cockroaches, termites might be the next worst pest to find in your home. Their activity is notorious for destroying homes, furniture, and belongings. Termites cause a whopping $5 billion in damages to homes every year. Here’s how to recognize the signs of an infestation!
Recognizing The Signs Of Termites And Termite Damage
Termites vs. Ants: What Do They Look Like
Termites are often mistaken for flying ants, and they are very similar in appearance. However, termites can vary in appearance depending on their job within the colony and how old they are. Most termites are white or off-white in color with tan-colored heads. When termites need to seek out new territory, some members of the colony will sprout wings so they can fly around. These specialized termites are called swarmers, and they are the ones that get mistaken for ants. The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at the wing-to-body ratio. Flying ants possess two sets of wings – one bigger than the other. Termites have two sets of wings that are equally proportioned, and these wings will be much longer than the insect’s body length – unlike ants, who have a short wingspan.
Types Of Termites In Alabama
Subterranean termites are attracted to places where there is ample moisture. Outside, you’re most likely going to find them in dead or rotted trees and logs. When they venture inside, they’ll seek out places like basements, attics, and under sink cabinets. Because they love moisture, one of the best ways to discourage this type of termite from coming indoors is to address leaky pipes immediately. If there’s no moisture, there’s no water source for termites. And termites aren’t the only pest attracted to moisture, so by keeping up on the plumbing, you’re going to prevent a whole slew of unwanted guests.
Drywood termites, as you might have figured out from the name, they don’t need moist wood, as subterranean termites prefer. Drywood termites are the most common termite in the US and can pretty much live anywhere in the home with wood – walls, beams, furniture, shelves, etc.
Signs Of A Termite Problem
When termites eat, they aren’t quiet about it. If you place your ear against a wall or door where you suspect termites are lurking, you might hear a clicking or scratching sound. That’s the sound of termites eating your wood fibers!
As termites go about their lives, they hollow out wooden structures and carve out tunnels. Consequently, this changes how sound passes through these surfaces. Try gently knocking on the wall, door, or shelf where you suspect termite activity and see if it sounds hollow. If it does, you very well may have termites. And if the damage is bad enough, the wood might even break apart with just the slightest pressure.
This is the most obvious sign of termites. Because they eat wood fibers, they leave behind damaged wood that looks as if it’s been drilled into repeatedly.
If you spot a tube of what appears to be sawdust or damp sand in your home, it’s probably a termite tube. They build these structures to protect them as they traverse from one area of the colony to another. It keeps predators away and locks in moisture. Unfortunately, if you’ve spotted a termite tube in your home, that’s a surefire sign the infestation is already bad. You should absolutely call termite control if you find a termite tube.
Dead Swarmers Or Discarded Wings
Remember those flying scouts we talked about earlier? When they’ve completed their mission, they will discard their wings. You might have noticed insect wings around your home without a body attached. Examine the wings using the information above and see if they look like ant wings or termites. You may also find clusters of dead swarmers who died en route.
You Find Mysterious Piles Of Sawdust
Except, that material you’ve discovered isn’t sawdust – it’s termite fecal matter. Termites kick out the fecal matter, also known as frass, from a structure called the “kick-out hole.” Workers will toss out the colony’s frass where it falls to the ground and resembles a pile of sawdust or even birdseed. If possible, avoid cleaning up a pile of grass if you find it. It will help your termite control technician locate the kick-out hole, which in turn will help them get to the heart of the colony faster. It also is better to leave all the cleanup to us. Bama Pest Control team members have the equipment to clean up termite droppings safely.
Get Rid Of Termites With Help From Bama Pest Control, Inc.
Don’t let hungry termites destroy your home! If you’ve got termites near Mobile, Alabama, give the experts at Bama Pest Control, Inc. a call. Our termite control program swiftly eradicates these annoying pests and keeps you protected for years. Plus, our annual inspections will detect any flare-ups in termite activity. If you suspect you’ve got termites infesting your property, don’t hesitate to give us a call. The sooner we get on the scene, the less damage your house will suffer. Call us at (251) 478-7015 or send us a message online to schedule a consultation.
We currently service:
- Mobile County
- Baldwin County
- Washington County
For tips on recognizing the signs of pest infestations, be sure to visit our blog page here.
We are a proud service-disabled veteran-owned business. We are also hub Zone certified and DBE certified. For more information on our credentials, be sure to visit our About Us page or ask a team member when we visit your property!