According to the most recent statistics compiled by pest control professionals, termites are responsible for nearly $30 billion in damage annually to man-made structures and crops in the United States. And the Southeast continues to be the region most vulnerable to infestation. To ensure your property doesn't fall victim to these destructive pests, every homeowner must remain mindful of the following five warning signs and contact pest control if you suspect infestation.
The Presence of Flying Termites
The first sign of a termite infestation is the presence of flying termites, which are either called swarmers or alates. Flying termites are males and females that have vacated the nest in search of a mate in hopes of establishing a new colony. Subterranean termites will usually swarm at night or after rain, and they're attracted to light sources.
With flying termites also come discarded wings, which occurs after they have found a mate. Male and female termites will find each other, crawl into a suitable nesting site and seal themselves to start a new colony. The king and queen will start by caring for their young until there are enough worker termites to take over the colony.
Strange Sounds Coming From the Walls
If you hear odd noises like clicking sounds coming from behind your walls, you might have a subterranean termite problem. That's because soldier termites bang their heads or shake their bodies against the wood to warn others when the colony has been disturbed. Worker termites, on the other hand, love eating your woodwork and are noisy eaters. If you put your ear against any wood infested by termites, you'll hear them chowing down.
As destructive as they are to your property, termites are also sensitive pests. They can detect the slightest of vibrations and noises, using organs found at the base of their antennae and on one of the segments of their legs.
Timber That Sounds Papery or Hollow
Termites oftentimes eat through wood from the inside out. As a result, they leave a thin veneer of wood or only the paint. If you tap or knock on an area that termites have infested, it'll sound papery or hollow.
Termite Tunnels Found in the Wood
Also known as galleries, termite tunnels are tough to spot from the outside. But if you see them in a piece of broken wood, it's a sure sign that termites have moved into your home. A professional pest control specialist can use equipment to detect hidden tunnels, including a borescope, an electric odor detector and even a dog.
Windows and Doors That Are Hard to Open
Although they're usually attributed to the hot and humid weather in Florida, warped doors and stiff windows can also be signs of a termite infestation. That's because termites produce moisture when they eat and tunnel through your door and window frames, causing the wood to warp. As a result, your doors and windows become difficult to open.
If you've noticed any one of the following signs of a termite infestation, contact Geiger's Pest Services for an immediate inspection at (727) 323-9595. When it comes to termites, it's better to be safe than sorry. Or you'll pay for it later.