How Can I Tell If I Have Termites?

Termite

Termites are small but they have the ability to impact your home in a big way. So many homes in Wichita have termite colonies living in the foundation without the home owners even realizing it.

According to the National Pest Management Association, termites are responsible for as much as five billion worth of property damage each year. In fact, as you are reading this, you could unknowingly have termites gnawing away at the inside of your walls, causing structural damage that could be costly to repair.

. According to experts at West Virginia University “The original king and queen can live for more than a decade, and a colony can range in size from 60,000 to 5 million individuals.” It’s no wonder then that a home can literally be eaten alive by termites. Identifying a termite invasion in your home is the first step to preventing major damage. Here are five signs to watch for:

Swarming

Termite activity increases in the springtime. As these pests come to life, their primary focus is reproduction and, as the weather turns warmer, finding a place to build their colony.  Sometimes that place is your home.

You might not see the actual swarm because it doesn’t appear like a telltale plague. However, the key is finding piles of wings laying around. Most often you will find these piles in the basement, but they really can occur anywhere. The wings are small and white/clear, so you might not notice them at first. In fact, many people don’t see them until they empty their vacuum cleaners.

A swarm is a telling sign that you need to contact a pest management professional ASAP. If  possible, collect some of the termites or wings in a jar so that there can be a positive identification. Patton Termite and Pest Control is familiar with the types of termite infestations in Wichita, Kansas and can provide quick and permanent solutions to rid your home of these costly pests.

Construction Time

If you are getting an addition put onto your home or are in the midst of another type of construction project, you might come across termite damage. Termites can live and feed in the interior of walls without anyone ever knowing, so you may be in for a surprise after breaking open a seemingly normal wall.

Damage found within walls can be significant and end up costing thousands of dollars to fix, especially if you have to replace load bearing walls. Structural damage or signs of infestation need to be addressed by a professional, especially before you begin any other construction projects on your home that could become susceptible to infestation.

Holes and Hollow Wood

One of the easiest ways to tell that you have a termite problem is to tap on the surface of the wall you suspect might be affected. If you hear a hollow sound, you probably have a termite problem and should call a professional exterminator. You may also see “tunnels” in your wood. Termites eat the wood from the inside out, so you have to check all wood, even if you don’t see entrance points. Mud Tunnels

When we talk about termite tunnels, most people think about tunnels in the wood. However, it is more common to see tunnels in mud. These tunnels are about the width of a pencil and fall along the interior or exterior walls of your home. Termites use these tunnels to transport food (typically from the wood in your home) to their nests.

 

I Have Termites – Now What?

Having termites can be really unsettling – it is like having the in-laws over without warning. Chances are you weren’t prepared for the problem, and you don’t know how to get rid of it. Anything you do try doesn’t work or exasperates the problem.

Still, you cannot ignore termites. It’s important to get professional help immediately so that the problem doesn’t get worse. According to the University of Michigan, some termites can live for up to 20 years (and will still reproduce) – so you can’t just wait for them to die off.

Termites are not a DIY project. Only professional pest control experts have the tools to effectively get rid of termites quickly before they can do more damage.

Patton Termite and Pest has the skill and proven experience to rid your home and outdoor structures of termites quickly and effectively, taking the worry out of infestations. Call us at (316) 773-3825 at the first sign of a problem.