Termites cause more damage in homes in the United States than tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes combined. That’s over $5 billion annually. No matter the age of the home, your home is at risk. We’re going to talk about inspecting your home to see if you have termites.
How do you know if you have termites?
The most common way that a homeowner tells if termites are near is when they see swarmers around spring.
The presence of swarmers or their shed wings almost always indicates termite activity. Typically, these are seen in kitchens, bathrooms, and moisture-rich areas inside your home. They are commonly misidentified due to the resemblance of a flying ant. This mistake can cost thousands of dollars in damage down the road, so just be careful.
Flying ants have an elbowed antenna, an equal length wing, and a pinched waist. Flying termites have a straight antenna, equal length wing, and thick waist.
Termites swarm only after the colony reaches a certain size and the weather conditions become optimal for flight. If you see a swarm of termites around your home, then there’s likely a well-established colony of termites living in or near your home. For many homeowners, a termite swarm may be the most visible sign of a termite infestation.
How to inspect your home for termites.
In a moment, we’ll talk about how to inspect for termites but first, you need to understand that there will be places that you won’t be able to get to. Subterranean termites live underground, which makes them difficult to detect when searching for activity.
One example of difficult places to inspect is your slab. Have you ever noticed a crack in your driveway or garage? How did it get there? Concrete settles, which then cracks. If your home is on a slab, there is no way to know without pulling your carpet or hardwood floors out to see if termites have found a crack through the soil and are currently attacking your home. This is the importance of having a professional termite company that’s actually providing a warranty for you.
Now let’s get to inspecting. You will need a couple things: a bright flashlight and a probing screwdriver. Your inspection will include exterior, interior, and, if you have a crawlspace, that as well.
Start Your Inspection In Your Basement.
Look around any wood construction in your basement or crawlspace if present, and remember that subterranean termites come from the soil, so check any contact with the wood touching the soil. Storing wood in your basement or crawlspace can attract termites to keep this in mind when inspecting.
In the pictures, you can also see a mud tunnel against the foundation, and on the right-hand corner, mud tubes in the basement. These are termite tubes. If you see this, you’re probably going to need some help with a termite company.
The reason they build these mud tubes is to protect themselves. They do this instinctively to protect from harm and from light. You can remove a portion of the tube and see if there are still termites inside. If you see termites moving back and forth and they are scrambling to begin repairing the tunnel, it’s likely that you have an active infestation.
Inspect The Outside Of Your House.
Let’s take a look outside. With your screwdriver dig around the bedding areas against the house’s foundation. Any areas where there is moisture, like around drains. You will also be looking for mud tubes on the foundation. Look under rocks; termites love to be warm, and rocks contain large amounts of heat in the summer months.
You also want to look around your front bay windows in the soil. If you have brick, please take your time with your inspection. Brick contains voids and can leave your inspection very weak because termites can tunnel behind the brick and out of your line of sight.
Due to window sills and doors being a high moisture area, probe with your screwdriver to see if the wood is in good shape and if there is termite activity nearby. AC units produce moisture and can attract termites. Probe and dig in these areas when inspecting. For an AC inspection, dig out the soil around the moisture and perform your inspection after the probe.
Water damaged doors can also be an easy target for termites. Take your screwdriver and probe into the water damage into the door and see if termites are visible. Termites and water damage looks very similar to an untrained eye. If you have a door that looks like this, you may want a professional to take a look. You don’t want this to happen so make sure that your inspection is very thorough. An inspection is the most part of controlling termites.
Inspect The Interior Of Your Home.
Now, let’s look inside your home. Baseboards are the current common hotspot for termites. Take a look with your flashlight to see if there’s any damage. You can use your screwdriver to probe into these areas. Inside window sills, take your screwdriver and probe or poke the window sill to check for damages. If there is damage, you will find it. Look in your accessible plumbing areas. This is a hotspot for termites as well from all the moisture that it gives off. Check around door frames for damage and existing termites using your screwdriver, and garages. Check the bottom of the garage, looking for termite tubes or damage in the sheetrock.
Prevention is always the best approach for termites, but no matter the case, Future Services can help. We will provide you with a treatment plan and take care of it with a sense of urgency to get your home claim back. Give us a call for our free estimate today 1-800-750-2847.
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