How To Tell If Your Home Has Termites

If your home was suddenly infested with mice, you would find out pretty quickly. You would start hearing scratching in your walls, seeing droppings in the backs of drawers, footprints in dusty surfaces. Mice leave lots of clues. The same can be said for many pests, from spiders in the basement to squirrels in the attic. But some pests are known for their ability to remain unseen and unheard. Termites are a prime example. They have been known to eat away at a structure for years before being detected. This is why they are often referred to as "silent destroyers." And sometimes the damage is so extensive, there is no hope of repair.

What are some types of damage termites can do to a structure?

Termites will silently eat away at your basement, attic, bedrooms, or any other part of your home or business where there happens to be wood present. And they can do this, as mentioned above, sometimes for years without showing signs of the damage being done. Your home or business is the perfect environment for termites, providing food, moisture, shelter, and the ideal temperatures that these insects need to survive and thrive.

In nature, termites will happily eat away at fallen trees, stumps, and the like, but, in your structure, they will eat other things as well. They need cellulose, which is the most plentiful organic compound found in nature and the main building block of plants. It is also found in many materials that humans use every day. Termites will feed on plants, plant byproducts, cotton fibers, paper products and, of course, wood products. So if you are infested with termites, all these materials are potentially at risk of being eaten.

What are the signs that termites have been eating away at your home or business?

  • Swarmers: These winged termites only appear briefly and then disappear back into wood to create new nests. If you see them outside, then their colony of origin is nearby. If you see them inside, then it is likely that your structure is already infested. You may also see these swarmers flying around lights.
  • Shed swarmer wings: You may not see the swarmers themselves, but you may notice their wings after they shed them. They'll most likely be found on window sills, around foundations, or stuck to spider webs. Make a note that flying ants look similar to termite swarmers but their wings are different. Termite wings are whitish and are clearly layered one on top of the other. This stacking makes them look round at the ends. Ant wings are not layered perfectly in this way.
  • Wood damage to outside stumps or structures: Once swarmers establish a new colony, worker termites will begin to eat away at the structure they have invaded. This damage to outside wood has been described as looking like a thousand carving knives have attacked.
  • Droppings: If you have drywood termites, they will leave behind tiny, pepper-like droppings on floors or window sills. You will also see a little hole directly above these droppings that lead into tunneling. These tiny holes are called kickout holes.
  • Mud tubes: Subterranean termites need moisture to survive, so they never come out into the sun and air. To get from the soil to the wood of a home or business, they will build mud tubes to travel through. You may find these tubes behind shrubs, under porches, in the backs of closets, behind stairs, behind machines, or in other hidden places.
  • Sagging structures: If termites have infested for years, the damage will be very apparent. Extensive termite damage can cause walls to warp, ceilings to sag, floors to slope and windows and doors to cease to function properly. If you have seen this kind of damage, then your structure is probably beyond repair.

If you have seen the signs of termites, or if you would simply like to have the peace of mind of knowing that you do not have termites, reach out to us today. Here at Adams Exterminating Company, we have been eradicating termites since 1947, long enough to learn a few things. Our professionals have the tools and knowledge to get rid of termites from your property, for good. Don't let your home or business be eaten out from under you; get help today!

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