7 Alarming Signs that You May Have Drywood Termites
It’s termite season and this is usually the time that cautious homeowners schedule inspections and check their homes for termites. The question is: why haven’t you done so yet? Are you totally secure in the thought that your home is safe and termite-free? The funny thing about that is that termites WANT you to think that way as they silently have their way with the tasty wood that makes up your home.
Drywood termites, as their name suggests, primarily reside in conditions where they find dry wood. They can be found in foundations of homes, windows and door frames and may go undetected by the residents of the home for ages. They frantically feed on any piece of wood found around the household, from floorboards to furniture.
If you know drywood termites are in the neighborhood, especially at this time of the year when termites are the most active, it’s a good idea to make regular inspections around your house or apartment to catch them as early and prevent expensive termite damage to your home.
Here are 7 signs of termites that you might have these destructive guests living in your home:
1. Clicking Noises
You may have seen enough closeup pictures to termites to know what they look like but do you know what termites sound like? If you have an infestation and listen closely, you’ll discover that termites make quite a racket.
One sign of a termite problem is soft clicking sounds coming from the walls. This clicking may come from Soldier termites banging their heads against the wood or shaking their bodies. No they haven’t lost their minds, this is what they do to alert the colony that there is danger afoot.
The worker termites, which are the termites who do the majority of the damage to your home’s precious woodwork, are very noisy eaters. If you know of an area infested by these wood-lovers and listen in, you can hear those termites having a munchfest. put your ear close to any wood infested by termites you can hear them munching away.
So you now know that termites like to be noisy, but did you know that termites also like the noise we listen to in our homes? What some may be surprised to hear is that termites love rock music! This fact was revealed widely by Snapple posting facts on their bottle caps, as you can see here. They found this fact out from learning of a recent study carried out which concluded that the eating habits of termites go into hyper drive when they listen rock music, eating two times faster in pace than without music.
This may be largely due to the sensitivity of termites, who are able to detect vibrations and noises using several organs which are found at the base of their antennae and on the tibia
2. Flying Termites and Termite Wings
Another telltale sign of a termite infestation is the presence of flying termites known as swarmers or reproductives. These winged termites are the males and females that depart from the nest to find a mate and establish a new colony — which very well could mean an even bigger infestation in your home. These swarmers may be found at night or in the daytime depending on their preferences and times of the year. Drywood termites in particular like to swarm after rainfall.
Discarded wings are another sign of a termite infestation. Swarmer termites lose their wings shortly after finding a mate. The new termite couple then then crawl to a suitable nesting site where they seal themselves in to reproduce and start a new colony. The new king and queen then care for the first batch of their young until there are enough worker termites to take over caretaking duties.
If you see either of these signs, you should be very worried about a large infestation nearby within the confines of your home!
3. “White Ants”
People commonly mistake termites with white ants. This misconception is an easy one to make as ants and termites often resemble each other in both shape, size and occasionally behavior.
So how can you tell the difference between ants and termites?
Termites are cream colored and can sometimes look transparent.
Termites have straight antennae compared to ants which look bent.
The waist section of a termite is a lot thicker than that of an ants. Ants have a more narrow abdomen.
Both flying ants and termites have two sets of wings. However a termite’s are both the same size compared to an ant who has a larger set and a smaller set.
The important thing to keep in mind is that there are no species of white ants. If you think you have spotted an insect which looks like a white ant you can pretty safely assume that it’s a termite.
4. Hollow Wood
Drywood termites usually devour wood from the inside out, leaving a thin outer layer of timber or just the paint. When you knock or tap on an area that you suspect has termite damage, it will sound hollow or papery. This is because part or all of the timber inside has been consumed.
Some of the more common stories you might read about homeowners discovering termites is that a problem is only realized when a vacuum cleaner goes through a skirting board or a finger pressed into a door frame creates a hole.
5. Hard to close doors and hard-to-open windows
While it’s usually believed to be a sign of damp or hot weather, doors that are warped or windows that become stiff when opening and closing may mean a termite problem. The moisture that termite produce when consuming wood and tunnelling through the wood within doors and window frames causes wood to become warped, making it difficult to shut or open windows and doors.
6. Wood Tunnels
The burrows made from termites, also known as termite galleries, may be difficult to view from the from the outside. But if you simply break a piece of broken wood in your house that has been infested you will clearly see tunnels created by the infestation of termites who are staying in your home. This can be easily done when doing a DIY termite inspection by taking a screwdriver and popping a plank off to check the underside.
7. Frass – Termite Droppings
A calling card left behind by drywood termites, is frass – which is the fecal matter they push out of their galleries when tunneling and eating wood. In large infestations of termites, frass is always looked for to indicate the size of a termite problem and where they are located. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites don’t use their droppings to build their tunnels. Drywood termites like to keep their tunnels and nests nice and clean so they push their feces out of small holes near the entrances to their nest. This results in small black marks and a dark powdery substance around the area they are infesting. Frass can easily pile up as well and is an even bigger indicator of a serious drywood termite problem.
Inspect Your Home and Take Action
Termites are notorious for causing a ridiculous amount of damage to homes that often go undetected for long periods of time. By the time homeowners realize they have a termite problem, an expensive amount of damage may have been done to the structure and wooden elements of the home. The thing that is most painful is that these repairs done by termite damage are usually always out of pocket as insurance companies don’t insure homes for termite damage like they do for damage caused by natural disasters like tornados and hurricanes. That is why it’s important to scan the home regularly for termites.
If you happen to find termite activity in your home, you have to act FAST! Solutions Pest and Lawn can provide you with DIY advice and present you with recommendations of the best products to conduct termite treatments on your property. Give us a phone call for more information and we can help address your termite problem and present you with an effective and easy-to-follow drywood termite control plan so you can eliminate your termite problem at once.
Want to know more about termites?