Besides the obvious presence of small ant-like insects or flying swarmers, you can look around your home to try and find out if termites have taken up residence with you in your home or building.
Typically, termites are discovered by property owners in one of three ways. First, when a colony swarms in the first warm part of early spring, winged adults can be seen on the inside or outside of a building moving toward the light, a window, or other lit opening.
Second, termites build mud tubes to travel between the ground and a structure. These mud tubes can often be found on the outside of a slab between the earth and brick line, or on piers which form the foundation of a building.
Finally, because termites like to eat the paper surface of sheetrock, pin holes are left behind when sheetrock has been damaged. There also will be some tubes in the wood indicating that termites have been eating through the wood and making their way from one side of the area to the other.
You will probably rarely see any actual termites because they tend to avoid light and open air spaces. The tunnels give them the ability to go virtually undetected while reaching their food source, wood. Therefore, destruction can be “undetected” as well.
There are a few ways that termites can infest buildings. Since they like to eat damp, cellulose such as is found in wood and leaves, they will stick to where their food sources are most abundant. Your structure is probably framed in wood, but they also like drywall as well. Here are some places that allow termites to come into your home:
- Wood to ground contact
- Foundation cracks
- Debris beneath the house
- Uneven drainage
- Joints between porches and foundations
- Pipes and the insulation around them
If there is any area of your home where water has accumulated, chances are good that termites are going to be in that area.
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