Termites typically live in colonies in the ground underneath your home, and will enter the structure of your home from underneath. This will most commonly happen in the spring and summer after the ground thaws, when termites will look to reproduce and start new colonies. This makes it critical that you know the signs indicating there is a termite infestation in your home, so that you can have these termites eradicated before they cause extensive damage throughout your home. Here are a few of the signs you can lookout for this summer which indicate that you are likely in need of a termite inspection in Des Moines.
You See a Swarm
One of the clearest signs that it is time to have your home inspected for termites is if you witness a termite swarm. A termite swarm will generally occur on a warm day during the spring or summer, when termites come out of the ground to reproduce and start their own colonies, potentially inside your home. This swarm may take place around your home, such as near a tree stump or a pile of dried out firewood, or it may actually occur inside your home. No matter where the swarm occurs, if you see a termite swarm, there is a chance that these termites will settle inside your home, or that there may already be termites inside your home, making it a good idea to have your home inspected for termites.
While noticing a swarm is a good reason to have your home inspected for termites, the fact is that swarms happen extremely fast, which is why many homeowners never notice them as you have to be in the right place at the right time to see them. However, if you know what to look for, you can discover the clues that termites leave behind indicating that they have been swarming. Look around your home on flat surfaces such as windowsills, and on the floor near your baseboards, for piles of discarded wings that termites leave behind when they are done swarming. You may also discover piles of these wings outside your home near your foundation, or by any piles of wood on your property. If you discover insect wings, keep a few to show your termite inspector who can use them to identify the insect that they came from.
Hollow, Damaged Wood
One of the problems with termites is that they generally eat wood from the inside out as they prefer dark, humid environments. This means that they can cause extensive damage throughout your home without you even knowing. While you may not be able to see the damage to wood in your home caused by termites, you may be able to hear it. Tap wood in your home every few inches with the handle of a screwdriver; wood that has been damaged by termites will make a hollow sound.
If you are worried that there may be termites in your home, you will also want to look for mud tunnels near your home’s foundation. Termites build tunnels using mud and their saliva, which they use to travel between their colonies and their sources of food, as these tunnels provide them with a dark, moist way to travel above ground. You can break these tubes open to easily determine if the termites that used them are still active; however, if you discover mud tunnels around your home, it is best to have your home inspected for termites.
Termites are one of the most damaging insects causing an estimated 5 billion dollars in damage to structures each year. This makes it important that you have your home inspected as soon as possible if you believe that you may be suffering from a termite infestation. Contact us to schedule an inspection, as well as to learn more about the ways you can tell if you have termites in your home.