The most destructive wood-infesting pest in the United States is the termite. Termites get into homes by the thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions, slowly consuming the wood of a home until irreparable damage is done. If termites aren't caught and treated, they can completely total your home. One of the greatest reasons subterranean termites are significant economic pests is that they are difficult to detect. So, along with understanding what signs to look for, it is important to become familiar with some of the common areas termite warning signs can be found. The experts here at Witt have put together a quick list of signs to look for and where to look for them.
Workers make up the largest portion of a termite colony. They are the termites that feed on your home. All other termites get their sustenance from the workers through a process of shared fluids. When workers come into your yard, you're not likely to see them. They tunnel under the ground, sometimes tunneling as far as the length of a football field to find food sources. But there are a few locations in your yard where you can look for termite workers.
Chop into a stump to find workers. They will look a little bit like pale ants. The difference between ants and termites can easily be seen at the waist of these insects. Ants have a distinctly pinched waist.
Dig soil around any wood that touches the ground. If you have wood that makes contact with the ground, especially in a damp area, you could find workers feeding on that wood. Above the surface of the ground, their tunnels will be hidden inside the wood. But below the ground, you'll clearly see the damage.
Termite Shelter Tubes
When workers feed on your home, they may have to create shelter tubes up your foundation walls or inside the concrete piers under your home. This is because workers get dried out by the air. If they can't find a location where the wood of your home touches the ground, they have to make shelter tubes to get to the wood. These tubes are found in areas that are moist and dark. While moisture is required for shelter tubes to be created, it can promote the creation of shelter tubes. Darkness, however, is essential. Worker termites have a strong aversion to light. This will have them creating shelter tubes in concealed places. Some places to check are:
Under your deck
In the crawl space under your home (if you have one)
Behind dense vegetation that is close to your foundation wall
Inside your basement
During the spring, swarmers can sometimes be a warning sign of a termite infestation. These are tiny black insects with long white wings. At only ⅝ of an inch long, they're not much to look at. So it is easy to have one land on your skin and brush it away without thinking about it. But you should think about it. Before your home is infested, you're only going to see a few swarmers enter your yard. This is because females and males couple together and leave the swarm in search of a place to establish a nest. If you see a large number of swarmers on your home, it is a sign of a current and active infestation. Swarmers don't mind the light, so you might see them swarming around an exterior light if they swarm at night. Keep in mind that swarms only last about 30 minutes. They can come and go without you seeing them.
The Best Way To Detect Termites
At Witt, we protect homes in the Greater Pittsburgh area with the most advanced and trusted termite baiting system available. We would love to tell you about it. Reach out to us and start the conversation. Once you start seeing termite damage, it is going to be too late to protect your home. Get protected today.