Termites eat wood, that’s why they are attracted to your home, there’s plenty of wood in it. A colony can eat approximately one pound of wood a day. In real times a colony can eat a foot of 2×4 wood in five months. That’s enough to weaken your home.
They are split into two types, the swarmers, and the workers. Workers are cream-colored and 3-4mm long, you’re only likely to see them if the wood is broken open and they fall out;
The swarmers take care of reproduction. They’ll leave the colony to create new ones. They can fly but lose their wings when they find a place to start a new colony. Swarmers are generally dark brown or black, approximately 4mm long, and can be mistaken for flying ants.
If you suspect you have termites the first thing you should do is call your local pest control firm. They can assess the issue, treat it, and help to make sure they don’t return.
But, while it’s essential to find out more info about pest control in general and specifically termites, you should also be aware of the signs of a termite issue and how to tell if the damage is bad. Extreme damage can make a building unsafe but even mild damage weakens a building and needs looking at it.
Assessing The Damage
The most obvious sign of damage is wood that appears to be water damaged. If it’s swelling or bucking then you may have a termite issue and it could be serious. You may also notice a scent, similar to the smell of mold, emitting from the wood.
On closer inspection you’ll note that the wood is full of small holes, this is where the termites have eaten through it. The more tunnels the longer the termites have been in your home and the more damage they’ll have done.
It’s also worth looking at the floor under the wood in your home, tiny piles of sawdust indicate termite activity. If you have mud surrounding your home instead of concrete you will also find mud tubes. These are small holes in the mud that allow the termites to go under your home. You can check they are active by covering a couple of them, an active termite nest will reopen them within a day or two.
Sadly, in many cases there are few signs of a termite infestation, you may not realize you have an issue until the damage is already severe.
It is worth noting that the swarmers lose their wings when they start a colony. If you find small wings on the floor that could belong to a termite then you should suspect a colony is beginning to form. It’s best to get the experts to verify this for you.
Also, swarmers don’t tend to travel far from the original colony. This means if you find wings you may already have an infestation and it’s simply about to get worse. It’s expensive to repair a termite damaged building, that’s why prompt action is essential.