Termites are sneaky. They can eat away at the wood in a home for years without the homeowners realizing it. Luckily, if you know the signs of a termite infestation, you are much less likely to overlook their presence. The following are the most common, yet sometimes subtle, signs that you need to call a termite exterminator.
Crumbling and Damaged Wood
Some species of termites eat into the wood from the outside. When this type of termite is in your home, the wood structures may begin to look like they are crumbling. They develop an overly textured look on the outside, and you may even see chards of wood or pieces of sawdust on the ground around them.
If you have the type of termites that eat wood from the inside and eat outward, then some of your wood beams may start to sound hollow as you tap on them. It's not a bad idea to just tap on your larger wooden beams from time to time and see what they sound like. This way, you're more likely to notice changes in sound over time.
Frass is termite waste. It looks like coffee grounds. If you have termites in your home, you might see frass at the base of wooden beams or along the baseboards.
Piles of Wings
Some species of termites have wings at one stage in their life. They shed these wings as they mature. You may see the shed wings on windowsills or along baseboards. They are thinner than paper and have a translucent look. They can appear in large numbers if you have a large population of termites, or you may only see a few if your infestation is in its early stages.
If you have hardwood floors, you may notice your floorboards becoming squeaky. This is because termites are eating away at the subfloor and ruining the connections between it and the baseboards.
Pinholes in your Drywall
Finally, you may notice tiny, pin-sized holes in your drywall. This is where the termites have chewed through the drywall to get to the wood behind it. They don't eat the drywall, but they can create minimal tunnels through it.
The earlier you do something about termites, the better. If you notice any of these signs, contact a termite exterminator for help. Termites are tough to get rid of on your own, but exterminators have the tools and know-how that you need.