Top Signs of Termites, and How to Treat
Termites can be a nightmare for homeowners, creating stress, damage, and financial burden.
"Often called the 'silent destroyer,' termites can secretly hide and thrive in your home, property or yard without any immediate signs of damage for years," says Glen Ramsey, an Orkin entomologist. "U.S. residents spend an estimated $5 billion annually to control termites and repair termite damage – which occurs in approximately 600,000 homes each year."
According to Orkin, property owners can get termites from:
- Wooden structures, such as porches and decks, in direct contact with the ground.
- Stacks of firewood that lean against the house.
- Damp soil near foundations from leaking faucets, gutters or downspouts.
- Trees and shrubs in close proximity to the house.
- Above-ground locations in the house that remain damp enough to support termites without them needing to return to the moist conditions found in the soil.
Signs of a termite infestation include:
- A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home.
- Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams or in crawl spaces.
- Discarded wings from swarmers.
Proactive tips that Orkin recommends for homeowners:
- Check water drainage sites to ensure they remain cleared and effective.
- Monitor the collection of moisture by fixing pipes, gutters, downspouts, A/C units and other fixtures susceptible to leaking.
- Caulk around utility lines or pipes.
- Get rid of rotting wood and debris near the home.
- Place screens on outside vents.
- Check wooden structures for damage.