They may be creeping in your home and you don’t even realize it… They spend all their time eating away at the wood and never get tired… what are they? TERMITES! These wood destroying insects can be in your home for years without you even realizing it! Also known as the ‘silent destroyer’, a termite is an insect that eats wood as its main source of food. They build satellite colonies away from their food source and then travel to their food source to eat the wood from the inside out. If this food source is your home, you have plenty of reasons to worry!
What kind of damage can termites do?
Because termite damage isn’t obvious to begin with, their damage is usually overlooked for YEARS. As they begin their feeding on the wood in your structure, you may never even realize they are present. Eventually they hollow out the wood in your home’s structure, making it look water or weather damaged and packing it full of ‘mud’, which is really just termite excrement. Wood can look saggy or droopy and wood that has extensive termite damage can become structurally unsound.
What are signs of termites?
As we already mentioned, it can be challenging to recognize a termite infestation until the problem becomes out of hand. Some signs of termites may include:
- Mud tubes along walls- these tubes are used by termites to travel to your home from their colony, which is usually located outside and away from your home. Since termites dry out easily, the mud protects them and keeps their delicate bodies moist.
- Painted wood that has termite damage looks blistered and the paint can peel.
- Shed termite wings are a sign that termites have ‘swarmed’ in or near your home. These ‘swarms’ are what happens when the reproductive termites fly up out of the ground and attempt to find a mate. Once a mate is chosen, the termites drop to the ground, their wings fall off and they go in search of a place to build their new colony.
- Wood that has termite damage may sound hollow when tapped on.
- Door and window frames with termite damage look like they are sagging.
- Termite damage can present like water damage, but if you look closely, you may see termite mud seeping through cracks or fractures in the wood.