Once a termite colony has settled into your Nassau County, NY, home, they can cause significant damage. Early detection is one of the best ways to prevent serious damage to your house or surrounding structures. Both drywood termites and subterranean termites can evade notice if you’re not aware of the signs. Look for these early warning signals, and contact Biotech Termite & Pest Control for termite extermination before an infestation gets out of hand.
Termite Damage to Floors
Termites can cause significant damage to floors—especially since they prefer the soft wood found in subfloors and supporting beams. Squeaky or hollow sounding floors or loose floor tiles are generally the first signs of termite damage to floors. If termites are under laminate flooring, the damage can appear similar to water damage. The laminate may sag in some places and bubble in others.
Termite Damage to Walls
Aside from wood, termites also like to feed on the paper contained in drywall. Unfortunately, they usually destroy walls from the inside out, so once signs are visible, significant damage may have already been done. Termites sometimes make small pin-sized holes in drywall or wallpaper. If you notice these holes, you should schedule a termite inspection before any repairs are made. A pest control expert can also usually identify small “trails” that indicate termite tunnels in drywall.
Termites build tubes out of soil and wood mixed with saliva to connect their colonies to above-ground food sources. Because they need moisture to survive, termites use the tubes to help protect them from dehydration. The tubes maintain a dark and humid environment while also protecting the termites from predators.
The tubes range in size from ¼ inch to 1 inch wide and can extend as high as 15 feet above ground. They can vary in color from light gray to brown depending on the construction material. There are different types of termite tubes, which all look similar but serve different purposes for the pests. Even if the tubes are empty, it signifies an infestation. If you can see termite tubes, it’s likely a sure sign that you need termite extermination.
When a termite colony reaches a certain size, part of the group will leave the nest to establish a new colony. Swarming is most common in the spring and fall, and almost always on warm days after a rainfall. Swarms seen outdoors may indicate a nearby colony, but swarms indoors are a sure sign of an infestation. Piles of wings are another warning sign that swarmers have left their nest and began their next phase of growth.
Termite swarms look similar to a cloud of flying ants and are often mistaken as the wrong pest. To differentiate between the two, look at the wings and antennae. Ants have two large wings and two small wings, while termites have four large wings. And ants have bent antennae while termites have straight antennae. Pay special attention clouds of insects at these times to ensure that you don’t have termites breeding in or around your home.
When termites consume wood, they create waste also known as frass. These termite pellets look like small, oval-shaped capsules that are approximately 1 millimeter in length. They are usually found in small mounds that may resemble a pile of salt and pepper or small seeds.