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A termite infestation is one of the worst home management problems to deal with. They can cause major property damage if left untreated and undetected and, in addition, can remain undetected since they burrow from the inside out of a wooden structure. No home is safe from this pest predicament. Anywhere there is moisture, soil, wood, or materials made of cellulose, termites will be close by, ready to strike when no one is watching.
Before you call a termite control provider in the Philippines, it is best to do a little self-inspection to prove if there are termites residing in your home. Aside from saving you a few bucks on consultation fees, it teaches you how to manage your own home from these pesky critters. Here are 9 signs your house is infested with termites:
Sign #1: Pieces of wood/wooden furniture sound hollow.
In order to check if termites have infested your home, start with your furniture. If you have wooden pieces, there’s a chance termites could be living in them. An added bonus is that wood coupled with moisture is a double magnet for termites. They derive water and the moisture to survive, as they dry out easily. Get a hammer and gently tap the surface of the wood. If it sounds empty, you can be sure that termites have made their home inside. The damage gradually moves from the inside out. Which leads to…
Sign #2: Broken or damaged furniture.
Over time, the termites burrowing and eating of the wood will also weaken its structure. This is because they eat wood in a honeycomb pattern which leaves the inside essentially be hollow. Also, they eat wood from inside out, which could make a wooden structure appear to be fine, but, in reality, it has become frail.
If a wooden chair or table leg breaks after someone applies too much weight on it, or a portion of a wooden platform looks chipped, take a closer look.
The openings look like see-through tunnel passages, with a few holes spread out as the entrances or exits. If a few insects come out, they’re either carpenter ants or termites.
Also, be wary of sagging floors. This is a sign that termites have eaten out the foundations of the flooring. Such damage could cause the floor to give way which is both dangerous and possibly fatal.
Sign #3: Shelter tubes leading to wooden surfaces
As mentioned earlier, termites need moisture to survive, as they have very delicate frames. One species of termites called subterranean termites need to build shelter tubes made of mud leading to their shelter/food source to protect them from the harsh environment. This also protects them from predators. Due to their need for moisture, they avoid desiccating by building these tunnels at night.
These tunnels are usually brown in color and have a clay-like texture. They can be as narrow as 10 millimeters and as wide as 50 millimeters; the larger the tunnel, the more worker and soldier termites can be transported; the more termites means more damage. Take preventive measures immediately if you see narrow mud tunnels in and around your home. Call pest control if the tunnels are wide.
To see if the shelter tubes are active, break it and return a while later to see if it is rebuilt, notes Susan Jones, a professor of entomology at Ohio State University.
Sign #4: Dirt on the wood
Since termites use mud and soil to build their shelter tubes, chances are they’ll be covered in them too while crawling on or in a wooden surface. When inspecting a piece of wood with holes and cracks similar to that in sign #2. If there are pieces of mud and dirt, that’s a sign that termites have taken refuge.
Sign #5: Groups of winged insects or discarded wings
Based on Ron Harrison’s, a writer for realtor.com, gathered research, you may see a swarm of insects flying in your home. These are called swarmer termites that take flight looking for places to create new colonies. If you notice a group of them, or fallen wings on a surface, Harrison’s advice is to call a termite expert to check it out.
Subterranean termites look for new habitats for their colonies during spring time. Seeing discarded wings in or around your home during this season could mean that a new colony could be terrorizing your home.
Sign #6: Blowholes in Trees
Colonies are formed in tree root crowns and trunks for both dry wood and subterranean termites, but is more common for the latter. When the colony has to deal and fight with invaders, slits on trunks are created in case the termites need to escape. But when the fighting is over, worker termites seal the holes and the tree will produce a callus where the slits used to be. If you see these calluses, then knock on the trunk where it is present to hear if it is hollow which would mean that termites have invaded.
Sign #7: Piles of Frass
Frass is the term used to refer to the droppings of termites. These tiny pellets can be found at or near possible termite entry points. Google exactly how this looks like and look for the presence of these inside or directly outside your home. If you do find these, then termites are definitely around your home.
Sign #8: Tree Nest
Aside from slits on tree roots and trunks, large chunks of mud should also be visible on the surface of trees especially if it holds an active colony. Seeing such a sign is an indicator of a heavy infestation and pest control must immediately be sought out.
Sign #9: Subterranean Tunnels
Subterranean termites can also construct an underground system of tunnels to get to a food source. They also use this system to transport the food back to their colony. This tunnel system is usually 20 centimeters deep and with a 50 meter radius from the colony. While this is a difficult sign to spot, take the opportunity to observe this if ever any diggings happen at your home.