By DoMyOwnPestControl.com staff
Doing your own termite inspection at home can definitely be intimidating, but there is also a lot of money to be saved in going it alone, especially if you are willing to put in the time and energy required. The following tips can help you perform a thorough and successful termite inspection right at home. Remember, you can always call in a professional at any time if you feel that further inspection is needed.
1. "Swarmers". When a colony exceeds a certain population, swarming occurs. Winged swarmers appearing in large numbers, especially near windows or light sources, indicate a nearby nest. These swarmers are a group of adult "reproductives" that have left the termite nest to establish a new one. Swarming behavior is most common in spring (March, April, May, and June) and early autumn (September and October), especially after warm, rainy days.
If you notice swarmers outside, it does not mean your home is infested, since they are most likely coming from an outdoor nest. Finding swarmers inside though should alert you to a growing infestation within your home. (It is not uncommon for these winged reproductives to be mistaken for "flying ants". Read the article about the difference between termites and carpenter ants.)
1. Mud Tunnels. Subterranean termites will often make their nest in the soil (moisture source) and then build highways called "mud tubes" that run vertically or otherwise to connect the nest to a wooden food source. Mud tubes are a definite sign of termite infestation, but the absence of mud tubes does not mean that no infestations exist, since there are other ways that termites reach food sources.
2. Piles of wings. Before swarmers enter the next stage of development, they will shed their wings which are often left in scattered piles near windows or light sources.
3. Live termites. There are four different kinds of Subterranean termites:
4. Buckling paint or little holes in wood.
5. Damaged wood. Wood with sustained termite damage might look "crushed" at structural joints. If you tap the damaged wood with a hammer, you will hear a dull thud. Wood suspected of termite damaged can be further inspected by probing the surface with a screwdriver or pocket knife to expose tunnels. Subterranean termites excavate tunnels that run parallel to the grain.
6. Wood Galleries of Subterranean termites are lined with a mud-like material set in an irregular pattern, and an extremely thin layer of wood between the gallery and the outside wall.
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