Termites are found in 49 states, and don’t have a preference for slums or mansions. They are an equal opportunity pest just looking for their next meal and warm place to stay, and you certainly don’t want your Westborough home to be the final resting place.
The first key indicator of a possible termite problem is actually seeing termites! Kings and queens are about half an inch long with wings, and are black or brown. Worker termites are smaller, about a quarter of an inch, without wings – and are white. If you see termites, don’t worry right away – that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve gotten into the structure of your home. However, you should request an inspection as soon as possible.
Here are some simple signs to look for that might indicate the presence of termites.
The appearance of a damaged layer of wood. Termites make tubes into the wood they inhabit, by excavating the wood until only a thin layer is left on the surface. One the outer layer is broken, the termites may cover it with a mud-like material that is a combination of soil, feces, and saliva.
Buckling paint, and/or tiny holes in wood.
Wood that appears to have been crushed at structurally importance places is another possible sign.
The thud test. Termite-damaged wood will probably sound hallow when tapped with a hammer. If you’ve found an infested piece of wood, probe the surface for tunnels running the same direction as the wood grain.
They can appear in a swarm, especially near light sources. They look very much like flying ants, and if you see them in a swarm, it is likely that their nest is nearby. Swarming occurs when colonies reach a certain size, and happens most commonly in the late spring and fall.
Be on the lookout for mud tunnels. Some termites create colonies in the ground, building pencil-size mud tubes.
Piles of wings. This is easier to spot than tunnels or even swarms. Termites shed their wings when they enter the next development phase.
Blowholes in trees in your yard. There are termites that live below ground, and above ground. If you look at a tree and see an interesting squiggly line pattern, that could be the work of termites.
Sounds of termites. It might be hard to believe you can hear a creature that small, however audible tapping can be heard inside wood that has a major termite infestation.
Even if you don’t see termites, or any of these signs, don’t assume they aren’t there. Termites are tiny, and live in hidden places. There are many documented cases of them doing extensive damage to homes or other structures long before they were ever discovered.
The good news is, if termites are found early, the damage will likely be very reparable by a licensed and trusted contractor like M.A. Restoration. Once the damage is repaired, it might also be to your benefit to invest in a prevention program through a trusted, local pest control company.