Out of all the different kinds of pests that can plague the property of homeowners in Katy, TX, termites are one of the most feared. These insects burrow through wood, which can lead to structural damage if you don’t identify the signs of termites and take care of the issue before it’s too late. Here are some of the warning signs that should tell you that you need to contact a pest control company as soon as possible.
The Top 8 Warning Signs of Termites
1. Windows or Doors Becoming Stuck
Some signs of a termite infestation might not be immediately unrecognizable if you don’t know what you’re looking for. For example, your windows or doors may become stuck more than usual as a result of a nearby termite infestation. If you’re noticing that you need to use more force than usual to open your doors or windows, it may be the early sign of an insect problem.
As termites burrow through wood in your home, they can cause that wood to warp and bend out of shape. Even though this change is subtle at first, it can be enough to cause the doors or windows in the area to become stuck. Identifying this sign can help you take care of your termite issue before it becomes too serious.
2. Termite Droppings Left Behind
As most people know, termites burrow through wood to create the tunnels that make up their nests. To clear out the tunnels, they deposit the wood they chew through in pellets outside of the tunnel. Generally, subterranean termites which are native to the Houston area, do not leave behind visible droppings. This is because droppings are used to construct tunnels and mud tubes, therefore droppings can not be distinguished from their nests. However, dry wood termites do leave behind visible droppings. Therefore, droppings can be a sign of certain termite infestations, but not all.
Knowing how to identify these signs of termites will help you detect an infestation before it causes damage to the structure of your home. The pellets appear as small, wood-colored particles that can often be found in small piles. Termite droppings, on the other hand, somewhat resemble small traces of coffee grounds. If you see either of these remnants, there’s a good chance you have a termite issue on your hands.
3. Discolored or Misshapen Drywall
Sometimes, the signs that termites are present on your property can show up in the shape or color of the drywall. The presence of termites in wood can cause the wood to swell up from its regular shape, creating a misshapen surface where you would usually expect a uniform, smooth one. This swelling is one of the telltale signs that tell you to search more deeply for the presence of termites.
You might also notice the signs of the damage that termites do in the coat of paint on the drywall. The paint will often begin to peel when the wall underneath has had termites burrowing through it. This damage is somewhat reminiscent of the signs that usually indicate water damage. While you should rule out water damage as a possible cause as well, this can also be a sign of termites in your home.
4. Unusually Noisy Floorboards
While many of the clues that you can use to detect an infestation of termites are things that you see, you can also use your ears to notice some warning signs. Pay attention to the sounds that your floorboards make as you’re walking across them, as excessive noise can be a sign of a termite infestation.
The presence of termites weakens the structure of your floorboards. This can cause it to emit an excessive amount of creaking noises when weight is applied on top. If you notice your floorboards are noisier than usual, you should check the area for termites if another cause can’t be identified.
5. Mud Structures Near Your Home
In addition to burrowing through wood to build their habitat, termites also build structures out of mud and soil. They use these structures to traverse their habitat in search of food sources so that the nest can thrive. These structures are one of the most obvious signs that a termite nest is present in the area.
Look for tube-like structures coming out of the ground that are built from the mud around them to identify this sign of termites nearby. However, it’s important to remember that only certain species of termites build these structures, so you may have a termite infestation without ever seeing mud structures such as these.
6. Flying Termite Swarms or Piles of Wings
Just like all living creatures, termites need to breed in order to thrive. This insects’ breeding behavior typically takes place in the spring. During this period, male and female termites leave the nest in order to mate and produce more termites. To further their mobility, termites grow wings in this stage of their life and can be seen flying around in dense swarms. Seeing these swarms could be a warning sign of an infestation.
When the termites’ mating season ends, the insects shed their wings and leave them behind in piles that somewhat resemble fish scales. Discovering these piles is one of the most obvious signs of termites, often being the first clue that people discover of an infestation. If you discover these piles of wings, contact a pest control company immediately to get to the bottom of the issue.
7. Pinpoint Holes or Maze-Like Tunnels
Perhaps the most obvious sign of a termite infestation is to see first-hand the tunnels they leave behind from their burrowing. You might see the entrances into these tunnels in the wooden structures of your home, though you’ll need to look closely as they appear as small, pinpoint-sized holes. You might also notice maze-like patterns dug into the wood, another sign that termites have been burrowing in the area.
The walls and floors of a home are often where termites can be found, but these aren’t the only places you should check for signs of an infestation. Wooden furniture is also vulnerable to the damage these insects can cause, so be sure to check your couches, bed frames, and other wooden furniture for signs of an infestation.
8. Knocking on Wood Produces a Hollow Noise
If you suspect that you might have a termite problem, knocking on the affected area with your fist is one way that you can test to see if there’s an infestation present. Termites burrowing through the wood leave behind empty hollow spaces where there would usually be solid material. Tapping on the surface of the wood that has been burrowed through will produce a hollow sound, giving you a warning that termites may be present.
Get Help from a Pest Control Company in Katy, TX
If you notice any of these signs or have another reason to suspect the presence of termites on your property, it’s important that you act fast. Taking care of the problem before it gets worse will save you both time and money. Only the thorough work that professional pest experts can do will take care of the problem completely so you don’t leave any traces of the infestation behind that will have to be dealt with through further action.
Think that you need some help from our pest control experts? Contact Life After Bugs today and let us help you protect your property!