Termite damage, especially living in woodland areas like Texas and Florida, is a hard problem to avoid. Unfortunately, there is no government agency that specifically tracks data on termite damage. According to the USDA, American residents spend anywhere between $1 billion to $5 billion dollars a year on termite control and repairs. When it comes to termites, these pesky insects are good at staying out of sight. Many homeowners do not realize they have a problem until it is too late.
The three main species of termites that are found in homes are subterranean, dry wood and damp wood. Subterranean termites are found in almost all 50 states and live in colonies underground. They can also be found in secluded areas above ground, containing up to 2 million members in their colonies; this species is the most destructive. Damp wood termites are found in high moisture content and are larger in size than most termite species. Dry wood termites thrive and infest in dryer wood and do not need contact with much moisture to survive.
Nonetheless, whether you have subterranean or any other species of termites living in your home, it is bad news. Knowing and catching the warning signs of a termite infestation is vital to preventing more damage to your home. Here are some of the warning signs to look out for.
The most destructive termites, subterranean, create and travel through mud tubes to find their food sources. They create these tunnels in the soil to not only find their food, but to protect themselves from the open air. The mud tubes keep the moisture in to protect the termites from dying out. After they are created, they can be seen around the structure of your home where the ground meets your house, usually on the exterior.
Discarded Termite Wings
One of the most obvious and first warning signs you will see when there is a termite problem is their wings. These are oftentimes found near closed windows and doors, because the termites are attracted to light. This happens when male and female winged termites leave the colony to find a mate and create a new colony. Once finding a mate they no longer need their wings and will discard them. This is when you will see little piles of tiny clear wings in your home.
It is important to call a professional immediately and document your findings to see the extent of your problem.
One of the most common signs that you have a dry wood termite infestation is by finding their droppings, or frass. When this species of termites eat away at the wood in your walls they need an outlet to get rid of their excrement. They will create tiny holes in your walls, near their nest, where they can kick out their droppings. This can look like tiny piles of dirt, coffee grounds or sawdust. Many homeowners will mistake these piles for dirt and not think twice to report the issue. Sadly, this is when more extreme damage will be found in the home.
Aside from the visual warning signs, you may hear a quiet clicking sound coming from the walls inside your home. Soldier termites will bang their heads against the wood in your walls, or shake their bodies to signal danger and warn the colony. This can also easily be missed because it is so hard to hear.
Hallowed or Damaged Wood
The scary truth is that termites can be damaging the foundation of your home without you batting an eye about it. More times than not, these little destructive insects go undetected for years while they are damaging your home. Termites eat wood from the inside out, which leaves a hollow and paper thin outer layer of your wood. You can find this damage below and behind surfaces like the walls and floors of your home. You can also see cracks in the interior wood, which is a big sign of termite activity.
What to Do
When you see any of these warning signs of possible termite damage, it is dire to contact an expert immediately. Take photos of all the evidence of damage you see. Oftentimes, if you do not catch the problem in time it can create a bigger issues. This may lead to putting in an insurance claim, but sadly they have the insurance companies best interest in mind. Once you file your claim, the next step is contacting a public adjuster, like Exodus Public Adjuster, who will fight for you and your best interest.