If there’s one thing you definitely don’t want in your house, it’s termites.
Termites are wood-eating insects that are common household pests.
There are over 2200 types of termites, but the most frequent form of termite infestation is caused by subterranean termites, which live underground as their name suggests.
They are a small white insect with a ringed lower belly and a square shaped head.
The worker and swarmer termites are the two most prevalent forms of termites encountered by homeowners.
Termites feed on wood, and if left unchecked or improperly maintained, they will do serious damage to your house.
Subterranean termites‘ nests are usually attached to their food supply, but there are ways to tell whether your home is being attacked by termites.
However, you might be wondering, what are the signs?
How do I know I’ve got termites before they have chewed through all the timber in my house?
Here are 10 signs you might have termites.
Tight Doors and Stiff Windows
Did you know tight doors and stiff windows could actually be one of the earliest signs of a termite infestation?
These symptoms are often associated with hot, humid and damp weather, but they can actually be caused by termites.
Termites produce moisture as they eat and tunnel through doors and window frames, which can cause the wood to warp.
When this happens around doors and windows, it can cause the frames to bow out of shape and they can become harder to open and close.
Clicking Noises In Your Walls
If you can hear unexplained clicking noises in your wall, this might be the first sign that you have termites.
Termites are little headbangers.
In fact, it is a little known fact that termites actually love rock music, as a recent study showed.
Fun facts aside, however, that clicking noise you are hearing is actually soldier termites banging their heads against the wall.
When the colony is disturbed, soldier termites bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies to alert the other termites. Staff termites, the ones that love to bite your woodwork, are a loud bunch.
Termites can be heard munching away if you bring your ear close to infested wood and they have multiple organs at the base of their antennae and on the tibia (a part of their leg) that can sense sounds and noises.
This makes them sensitive to even the most mundane movements around the house, so that clicking noise could in fact be soldier termites responding do your movements around the house or the sound of worker soldiers munching away on wood.
If you are hearing unexplained clicking noises in your walls, then you should call VIP Pest Control today to arrange an urgent pest inspection of your home.
Termite Droppings – Frass
One of the first things VIP Pest Control look for when conducting one of our pest inspections is termite droppings.
This is also known as frass.
Termite inspectors often check for this sign of an infestation during a termite inspection.
Drywood termites, unlike subterranean termites, do not use their faeces to build their tunnels.
Instead, their faeces are pushed out of narrow holes near the nest’s entrances. This causes tiny black marks and a dark powdery layer to appear in and around the infested field.
Hollow Sounding Timber
Termites typically eat wood from the inside out.
In a bad infestation, they will often just leave behind a thin layer of timber or even just the paint.
A termite-damaged area can sound hollow or papery as you knock or bang on it.
This is due to the fact that any or more of the wood inside has been eaten away.
Internal walls can also have mysterious cracks.
Termites ingest cellulose contained in wood, so clear cracks within walls may indicate termite activity.
Tunnels in Wood
Do you have any spare timber or wood lying around?
If you think you have a termite inspection, inspect any loose wood lying around.
If you can see tunnels, this could be a key sign of a termite inspection.
The tunnels, also known as ‘galleries,’ are almost impossible to spot from the outside, but if you see them in a piece of broken wood outside or inside your building, it’s a sure sign that termites have taken up residence.
Mut Tubes or Tunnels
Termites use mud tubes or tunnels as protection for their colony.
These tunnels can typically be found near the foundation of your home and they are easy to spot, making them a good indicator for potential termite activity.
These tunnels, made of soil and termite droppings, are usually built by subterranean termite species to provide moisture.
Eliminate moisture-rich areas and store firewood, mulch, and wood chips away from the house to avoid attracting termites.
The appearance of flying termites known as swarmers or alates is usually the first indication of a termite infestation.
Male and female flying termites have left the nest to find a mate and start a new colony, which may be close to or inside your house.
At night, these flying termites swarm and are drawn to light sources. Other termite species swarm during the day, but all drywood termites swarm after rain at specific times of the year.
Termites’ discarded wings are another common sign of termite infestation.
After seeking a mate, flying termites lose their wings. Male and female termites form a pair and then crawl to an appropriate breeding site to mate and establish a new colony.
If you think you’ve spotted some “white ants” around the property, chances are what you have actually spotted are termites.
This is a simple mistake to make because ants and termites are very similar in form, scale, and behaviour in certain situations.
So, what are the major two noticeable differences between termites and ants?
- Termites have a lighter colour. Almost as if you can see through them. Look for a white/creamy complexion.
- Termites antennae are dead straight, unlike white ants who have elbowed antennae
If you have noticed any of the above symptoms in your house, you should immediately contact VIP Pest Control and arrange a pest inspection.
A professional pest inspector, such as those in our team at VIP Pest Control, will help you identify the presence of termites and other pests, what sort of infestation – if any – you may be dealing with and provide the best course of action to deal with it.
Our prices are reasonable and the products we use are of the utmost quality to ensure that your home is pest free for a guaranteed period.