Termite infestations can compromise the structural stability of a home, and cause thousands of dollars in damage, without anyone even knowing. There are also some red flags signaling the presence of termites that homeowners can keep an eye out for on a regular basis. Here are the top five signs of termite infestation to look out for in your home.
- Damaged or Hollow Timber: Termites usually consume wood from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer of timber or just the paint. When you knock or tap on an area that has termite damage, it will sound hollow or papery. This is because part or all of the timber inside has been eaten away.
- Flying Termites: Usually from mid-October till early March, established nests disperse young reproductive, winged termites out to start new colonies. On a warm and humid evening, hundreds of them will leave the nest at once, so their numbers look like swarms of flying ants. If you spot alates around your home, this could be a sign of termite infestation.
- Straws on Timber: To get around safely when they are not underground or inside a piece of timber, they build leads, small tunnels made of mud and cellulose. The tubes look like little brown straws. These tubes provide moisture while they travel between their colony and food source and are most often found near the home’s foundation.
- Clicking sounds coming from walls: One sign of termites is quiet clicking sounds coming from your walls. Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies when the colony is disturbed to signal danger to the other termites. The worker termites, which are the ones who love eating your woodwork, are noisy eaters. If you put your ear close to any wood infested by termites you can hear them munching away.
- Termite Mudding: A key sign of termites, and in particular drywood termite are these wood-colored droppings are produced as they eat through infested wood. If a homeowner finds a small pile of what looks like pellets inside or outside the home, it could be a sign of a drywood termite infestation.
This indicator of an infestation is something that is always looked for during a termite inspection.
If you think you have termites it is very important not to disturb or break open the damaged timber or workings as the termites will shut down the disturbed area and possibly begin damaging elsewhere in your home.