Termites can cause significant damage in under a year! This is one of the main reasons that annual professional termite inspections are a must for homeowners. A termite professional will be able to spot both obvious and subtle signs of termite activity and most importantly identify any conditions or issues around your home that will make a termite attack more likely.
What will a termite inspection report tell you?
Professional termite inspections are like a health check on your home. Key information included in the report includes:
- Termite activity in the building or on the property
- Signs of termite damage
- Conditions around the property (such as leaks or drainage issues) that will make a termite attack more likely
- Construction issues that may allow termites to get into the building without being noticed
- Recommendations on how to fix any issues
- Suggestions on whether a termite protection system is required
So why do you need to know the signs of termites?
Although termite inspections are a great report for homeowners, they are only a snapshot of the situation on your property at the time of the inspection. Termites can become active on your property in between termite inspections, so it pays to know the signs of termite activity.
The top 6 signs of termite activity every homeowner should know
1) Termite mud or mud tubes
Termites build these mud tubes to protect them when they are traveling above ground or feeding on a wood source. It protects them from predators and from drying out. Mud tubes on trees and fencing in the yard are quite easy to spot and are a sure sign they are active on your property. Mud tubes on the outside or inside of your house, in the sub-floor or roof void are a sure sign you are under termite attack!
2) Flying termites / termite wings
Flying termites – the new termites queens and kings – appear in large numbers on warm humid nights. They fly towards lights. When they pair off they drop to the ground and shed their wings. If you spot these pale brown insects (with or without their wings), or piles of wings on the floor when you get up in the morning, you have a large termite nest nearby and you should get a termite inspection immediately.
3) Hard to open windows and doors
As termites start to eat wood, the door jambs and window frames start to lose structural integrity making them difficult to open and close. Movement in the structure may also cause the same problem, so such an issue isn’t always due to termite activity.
4) Spongy / bouncy floors
When termites start to eat the structural floor timbers the floorboards start to bounce when you walk on them. This can also occur if there are other structural issues in the sub-floor. But either way, it’s important to check it out.
5) Hollow / damaged wood
Obviously damaged wood should be easy to spot, but often termites remain hidden until significant damage is done. When eating wood they will often leave a thin veneer of wood to provide protection and hide their activities. You can tap on wood elements (such as skirting boards). If it sounds hollow, termites may have already eaten the wood! If you happen to break through the veneer, eg. when vacuuming, you know you have a problem!
6) Tapping sounds in the middle of the night
Termites do actually make some sound, which you can hear when it is quite at night and certainly if you hold a glass up to the wall. They do make slight gnawing sounds when they chew the wood, but you are more likely to hear a rapid tapping sound in pulses. This is the termites communicating with each other, often when they are alarmed.
Have you seen or heard these signs of termites?
If we find termites, our experts will discuss with you the best treatment options for your situation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have found termites, please do not touch the termites or spray them with insecticide or break open any mud tubes or create further damage than may have occurred on discovery. All these actions can frighten them off, making them harder to identify and control. In addition, they could pop in a different undiscovered locations! If you think you have termites, just give us a call!