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5 Signs of a Termite Infestation in Your Home

Termites cause $5 billion in damages to hundreds of thousands of homes throughout the United States, partially because they’re good at hiding. If undetected, termites can live and eat the walls of your home for 8-10 years!

Termites are hard to find and treat, but there are a few things you can look for to protect your home investment. Knowing what to look for can save precious time and money before significant damage is done to your home in Midland, TX.

1. Droppings — Termite Frass

One common sign of termites is their droppings, known as frass, which looks like little piles of sand or wood pellets. Some types of termites open a hole to the open air and throw the frass into a pile, much like housekeepers throwing out the trash.

If you find frass, mark the place where you found it, clean up the pile, and watch it over the next several days. If the piles come back, you most likely have an infestation.

Photograph and mark where you found the frass before you clear it away so you can show the professionals when they come.

2. Termite Mud Tubes and Tunnels

Some types of termites, especially subterranean termites that are extremely common throughout the United States, rely on the moisture in the ground to keep from dying of dehydration, so using their own saliva and the dirt they find, they make mud tunnels above ground. They remain relatively safe and moist while they forage for new wood sources.

Look for these tunnels branching up the side of the house or a cement wall, metal pole, or the kitchen backsplash.

Pro tip:

If the termites actively use these tunnels, they’ll repair it if it is damaged. Break off a piece of the tube and watch it over the next few days. If termites come right away or repair it within a week, it’s time to call the experts.

If the inside of the tubes are dry and remain damaged, the termites don’t use the tunnel anymore, but could still be somewhere nearby.

3. Flying Termite Swarmers

Many colonies produce termites that fly away, mate, lose their wings, and start their own colony elsewhere. This happens once a year, usually during the spring but it can happen at any time.

Swarmers gather around light sources, like porch lights or street lamps, but you’re more likely to see the wings lying around so check the inside of your house and around the yard.

Termites and Ants

Ants also send swarmers that fly away and lose their wings before starting a colony. But ants aren’t nearly as destructive or difficult to eradicate as termites are, so knowing the difference can save you hundreds of dollars.

  • Ants have four wings with different lengths. Termites have four wings that are the same size.
  • Ants have a thin “waist” that attaches the abdomen to the rest of the body. Termites have a thick body from nose to tail tip.
  • Ant antennae have a bend in the middle. Termite antennae are straight and look like a tiny string of beads.

4. Termite Wood damage

Termites can eat anything with cellulose, which is what most plants are made of. They eat everything from books to wall studs, fence posts, ceiling beams, furniture, paper bags, sheetrock, or wallpaper.

Wood that has been damaged by termites will sound hollow when you tap it with a heavy screwdriver or wooden dowel. Sometimes, if the termites have been in it for long, it can also feel weak to the touch. Termites typically eat the wood along with the grain.

Start by inspecting the wood outside your home, including fences, fallen branches, and even leaves. Work your way toward the house, and then check the outer walls first, inside and outside, and move slowly toward the center of your house. Don’t forget to inspect the attic, basement, and crawl spaces.

5. Chewing Noise in the Walls

Termites sometimes make noise in the walls while tunneling, which is most easily heard at night when it’s quiet.

Adults typically can’t hear the sounds, so if your child frequently reports scratching or tapping sounds in the walls, it might be worth a closer look.

>Other insects also make noises in the walls, like carpenter bees, powder post beetles, carpenter ants, and some kinds of wasps also make noises. Mice and rats gnaw on wall studs and make scratching sounds.

If you’re afraid you might have an infestation in the walls, call the professionals right away.

Best Termite Extermination

Many people try to kill termites on their own before they call for help. They might use boric acid, termite bait systems, food-grade diatomaceous earth, and other termite killers.

We don’t recommend you try to treat termites on your own, because you could end up needing to call the professionals anyway, so don’t waste any of your precious time or money.

You’ll need someone with the experience, knowledge, and tools necessary to protect your investment and restore your peace of mind. Fox Pest Control can be that professional for you. Our Pest Pros don’t just identify the problem and treat your home. When you call Fox, you’re joining a family that cares.

We get the job done right the first time, so when you think pest control, think Fox Pest Control. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on March 16, 2020.

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