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5 Things to Inspect for to Prevent Termites

Termites cause $5 billion of damage to hundreds of thousands of homes every year. Because they’re so good at hiding, they can eat away at a home for 8-10 years without discovery.

By arming yourself with the knowledge needed to identify an infestation, you could catch them before they cause any significant problems and save yourself thousands in damage repairs in your home in Lubbock, Texas.

Frass is the name for termite droppings, which looks like piles of sand, wood pellets, or tiny wood shavings. Some types of termites make a sanitation hole in the tunnels and dump their waste, like little housekeepers.

If you find a pile of frass, mark the spot clearly and watch it over the next several days without disturbing the spot. If the pile comes back, you most likely have a termite problem.

Call the professionals and show them all the signs you find so that they can treat the problem and protect your home from future infestations.

2. Mud Tubes or Tunnels

Subterranean termites, which are common throughout the U.S., dry out easily in the hot sun or dry air, so they depend on contact with the soil to stay hydrated. In order to travel from the underground colony to a source of food without the threat of predators or dehydration, they make above-ground superhighways made from mud mixed with saliva.

You can find these mud tunnels stuck to the side of a cement wall or a kitchen wall, climbing up the siding of your house or a metal pole.

Pro tip:

You can test for activity by breaking open one of the tubes and waiting for activity. Termites will either repair it immediately or over several days. If you come back after a week and the tunnels are dry and still broken, the termites have abandoned the tunnels but could still be nearby.

When the termite professional comes, show them all the places you’ve seen the mud tubes to help get them up to speed with your situation.

3. Flying Termite Swarmers

Mature termite colonies produce new kings and queens called swarmers that fly away, mate, lose their wings, and start a new colony. This usually happens during the spring but can happen at any time during the year.

Around dusk or before dawn, you might have swarmers gather around porch lights or other sources of light. However, you’re more likely to see the discarded wings left behind after the swarmers mate.

Termites and Ants

Ants also send swarmers out every year, but most ant species aren’t as destructive or difficult to treat as termites. Being able to tell the difference between the two can save time and money.

  • Ants have four wings that are all different lengths. Termite wings are all the same length.
  • Ants have a thin “waist” that connects the body to the abdomen. Termites have a thick waist.
  • Ants have a bend in their antennae. Termite antennae are straight and made of a string of beads.

4. Damaged Wooden Structures

Termites eat anything with cellulose, the fibers that make up all plants. They eat ceiling beams, wall studs, certain kinds of paper-based insulation, furniture, sheetrock, and even wallpaper.

Unlike other wood-destroying insects, termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving little or no visible traces. But, fortunately, there are ways to check for wood damage.

You can press the wood around door and window frames or other wooden structures to feel for weakness. Tap the wall with a wooden dowel or a heavy screwdriver and listen for a hollow echo. You can also look for ripples, bubbles, or unevenness in the walls by setting a flashlight on the wall and splashing light across it and watching for shadows.

Photograph and mark any damage you find and alert the pest professionals when they come.

5. Scratching Noises

Termites make sounds while they eat that is easiest to hear at night when it’s quiet.

Adult ears often aren’t sensitive enough to hear the high-frequency sounds, so if your child repeatedly reports noises in the walls, it could mean you need to take a closer look.

Many wood-destroying insects make sounds in the walls. Mice and rats also make noise when they gnaw on wall studs. A termite professional should be able to tell the difference and can either treat for the pests or help you know what to do next.

Call the Professionals

Many people want to take care of a pest problem themselves before they call the professionals. There are safe-to-use termite killers out there that are safe to use in your home, such as diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and termite bait systems.

Although this can help to an extent, you’ll want to find a professional with the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to help you. They can positively identify a termite infestation, whether they’re subterranean termites, drywood termites, or dampwood termites.

Fox Pest Control can be that company for you. Our Pest Pros aren’t just someone to kill termites for you. When you call Fox, you aren’t just hiring a pest control company, you’re joining a family that cares about you, your family, your home investment, and your peace of mind.

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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