Termites are among the most secretive and destructive insect types that infest homes in Australia and around the world. Primarily, they live, travel and eat through timber’s inner layer, and this makes them difficult to spot. They can also be found in door and window frames, and in foundations of your home.
So how exactly will you know if termites have infested your home? Pest control experts in SA share here 9 warning signs of a termite infestation and what you can do about them.
Not your head, but those of termite soldiers. Quiet clicking sounds coming from the walls are a sign of a termite problem. Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood to signal danger to the colony if they are disturbed. By putting your ear close to the wood infested by termites, you actually hear them munching away.
Termites are sensitive creatures. The organs found at the base of their antennae and tibia can detect noises and vibrations. According to the scientists at Australia’s CSIRO, they can also measure the size of a piece of wood using vibrations.
If termites eat timber, they consume the wood’s inner layers without destroying the outermost layer. So if you suspect that your house might have termites, gently tap the timber using a solid object. Hollow timbers will sound empty, creating a dull thudding noise.
Hard-to-open Doors and Windows
Stiff windows and warped doors are usually related to damp and hot weather, and so most homeowners just neglect it. But pest control experts in Adelaide emphasize that this can also mean a termite infestation. The moisture that these pests produce as they eat and tunnel through the window and door frames will cause the wood to warp; consequently, it becomes too difficult to open windows and doors.
Tunnels in Wood
Also known as galleries, the tunnels are somewhat invisible from the outside. However, if you see them in a piece of broken timber in your house or nearby, this is a sure sign that termites have already set up camp in your home.
Termite droppings, also known as frass, are a key sign of termite infestation. This is something that is looked for during a home termite inspection. Drywood termites push their feces out of small holes near their nest entrances, resulting in a dark, powdery substance and small black marks around the infested area.
Termites have wings. So if you find discarded wings near your door, windows or other home access points, this means that termites have already entered your house. If they find the right place to settle, they often twist their wings off because they know that they won’t need them anymore.
Termite wings come in the same sizes, unlike ant wings. So take time to inspect every corner of your home. If you find wings, immediate action must be taken.
Mud tubes can be found where the ground connects your home. Termites will require a certain temperature to survive; thus, they will live in places where there’s moisture content. They make tubes or tunnels to block air and retain enough moisture.
If you see a mud tube near your house, remove a section of it and check if termites crawl out. These pests are quick to rebuild their new nest – they actually work 24/7. Therefore, action must be taken immediately before they destroy your entire home.
The most significant threat of a termite infestation is the damage that affects the structural stability of your home. If termites have been living in your flooring for a long period of time, your floor covering will dramatically change. You might observe creaking, crumbling, sponging, and sagging in the affected area.
Termite activities often become visible because of paint warping. You might notice that your paint starts to look bumpy, malformed, or feel spongy when touched. This malformation happens if the wood underneath the paint has been weakened or consumed to the point that the timber can no longer support the paint’s shape.
Today, there are different types of technology that can detect termite activity and the presence of tunnels if there are no visible signs. These will include sound detectors, X-rays, infrared detectors, microwaves, and electronic odor detectors.
If you suspect or find any termite activity in your home, it is recommended that you contact a reputable pest control company and schedule a home inspection immediately. Pest control experts are highly qualified and trained with the proper knowledge of how to successfully handle and treat termite infestations.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 500 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
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