Would you know the signs of a subterranean termite infestation in your home if you saw them? The truth is, even if you know the subtle signs these home-destroying organisms leave behind, they're often left in hidden places. This makes termites very difficult to detect and allows them to feed upon your home until severe damage has been done.
Subterranean Termite Identification
The only way you are likely to see termites is if you are doing construction and tear out a part of your home that is infested. Worker termites are a creamy-white color. Soldiers have elongated yellowish heads and large jaws. Both of these are around ¼ of an inch in length. King and queen termites are dark-brown or black and around ⅜ to ½ an inch in length.
More-Visible Signs Of A Subterranean Termite Infestation
- Swarmers: Once a termite colony is established, periodically winged swarmers will be sent out to establish new nests. These insects are only visible for a brief half an hour or so before they mate, shed their wings, and disappear again.
- Shed wings: If a swarm has come and gone, you may see their shed wings on window sills, on foundation walls, on decks or patios, or perhaps caught in spider webs.
- Shelter tubes: Worker and soldier termites crawl up through the soil to the wooden parts of a structure. To protect themselves from the elements, they build mud tubes. These tubes may be visible on the outside of your foundation but, often, they are completely hidden underneath outdoor stairs, in crawl spaces, and even inside concrete piers.
- Damage outside: You may be able to spot termite damage on the outside of your home in a spot that never sees the sun and remains moist. The damage will look like your home was attacked by carving knives.
- Late-stage damage: If termites are allowed to consume the wood of your home for years or even decades, you will start to notice that doors and windows no longer work properly. They may open hard, or stick open or closed. And floors, ceilings, and walls may develop a noticeable slope or bulge.
Why Early Detection Of Termites Is Crucial
Termites cost US home and business owners more than all natural disasters combined--over $5 billion annually. For this reason, it is crucial that property owners keep a vigilant eye out for the signs of these "silent destroyers." Because these signs are often very subtle, and in hidden locations, it is important to partner with a professional pest control company to be sure your home is protected. Contact us for more information about our termite control options, or to schedule a FREE inspection.