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wood frame damaged by termites

Signs That You Might (or Definitely) Have Termites

A termite infestation can cause a substantial (and expensive) amount of property damage if not dealt without early on. Pretty much any part of your home that’s constructed of wood is susceptible to termite damage. If allowed to, these pests will eat away at the frame of the building itself, including the posts, walls studs, support beams, floor joists, and ceiling joists.

For these reasons, it's important to know the signs which indicate that your home has a termite problem. If you notice any of the signs below in your home, don’t wait to contact an exterminator for a termite inspection.

1. Clicking noises in your walls

Sometimes the sounds that termites make will give them away. Worker termites chew noisily and non-stop, making a soft, continuous clicking sound. Sometimes this chewing will intensify if the termites are stimulated by certain sounds or vibrations. One fascinating study discovered that termites ate wood two times faster when listening to rock music.

Termite soldiers also produce noises that can sound like clicking. If they suspect that the colony is in danger, the soldiers will shake or literally bang their heads against the wood they’re perched on as a warning signal to the other termites.

2. Damaged, papery, or hollowed out wood

In their search for cellulose, termites chew grooves into wood. Those grooves weaken wood and can give it a hollow sound when you knock or tap on it. The damage is not always apparent at first glance because termites can leave the outside of the wood or the paint covering it mostly intact. In some extreme cases, the damaged wood will give out just from you pressing on it hard enough.

3. Warped doors and stiff windows

You might just think it’s summer heat and humidity making your windows and doors hard to open, but termite damage can cause a similiar phenomenon. This occurs because of the moisture produced as termites chew tunnels through window and door frames.

4. Flying termites (AKA. alates or swarmers)

If you see flying termites, an infestation could be imminent. Male and female termites fly for this ultimate purpose: to leave their nest, mate, and start their own colony elsewhere. If you see flying termites or discarded wings (which termites lose shortly after mating), you may have a new colony to contend with soon. Check for wings near vents, windows, doorways, and any other place through which your home could be accessed.

5. Termite droppings

In order to keep their tunnels “clean,” drywood termites will create holes through which to kick out and discard their excrement. This results in little piles of wood-like droppings that resemble coffee grounds or sawdust.

6. Mud Tubes

As opposed to drywood termites, subterranean termites nest underground and will try to enter a structure from below. Watch for mud tubes about the thickness of a pencil where the ground meets your home. Subterranean termites create these tunnels out of the wood they eat, their saliva, and their waste in order to safely access food sources.

7. Bugs that look like white ants

Many termites and ants are similar in size and body shape, so people will frequently mistake termites for some kind of “white ant.” If you can get close enough to inspect the insect in question, you’ll know that it’s a termite if its body is transparent or a whitish, milky color and if it has completely straight antennae (instead of bent antennae).

Whether you are a homeowner, property management company, or large corporation, any structure is vulnerable to attack by termites. If left unchecked, a colony of termites can literally eat you out of house and home. Whether you have an active infestation, or if you just want peace of mind that your home is protected, Bug Commander Pest Control offers a variety of termite treatment and prevention services to fit your needs and budget.