Termites are destructive insects that can do a considerable amount of damage to your Texas home. When these insects get in, they keep eating and eating. And if they find a desirable food source, they'll grow their population rapidly. With each new termite, there is a new mouth to feed. That is why it is vital that you learn how to spot termite problems around your property.
Step 1: Detect Termite Activity In Your Yard
Subterranean termites live underground and rarely show themselves. This is because they have a strong aversion to light. If you want to find these termites in your yard, you have to do a little digging—so to speak.
- Lift wood off the ground and look under it. Termite workers may be found in locations where there is wood-to-soil contact.
- Inspect the base of wooden fence posts or wood timbers that support your deck. You may find wood damage near, or just below, the surface of the ground.
- Cut into a log, stump, or dying tree. These are preferred food sources for termites. You may be able to find active termites inside.
- Rake mulch away and dig into the soil. You could find termites under mulch, or just below the surface. Check areas where there is old mulch.
Step 2: Be On The Lookout For Swarmers
Termite worker activity needs to be uncovered, but termite swarmers will come out into the sunlight where you can see them—that is assuming they emerge from their nest in the daytime. If you see lots of termites crawling on the outside of your home, it is a warning sign of a current and active infestation. Use these characteristics to identify termite swarmers.
- A swarmer is about ⅜ of an inch long.
- A swarmer will be black or a shade of yellow, depending on the species.
- The white wings of a swarmer are stacked on top of each other and appear rounded at the tips. These wings extend past the tip of the abdomen.
Step 3: Search For Shelter Tubes
Subterranean termite workers create tubes out of soil and saliva. These tubes are likely to be in dark, secluded locations on the outside or inside of your home. These tubes may be as thin as a pencil or several feet thick when grouped together. A single tube may look like a river of mud flowing up a hard surface. You may also see branches where new tunnels are formed off of the initial tunnel. If you find a tunnel, break a piece off. If it is rebuilt in a few days, you have an active termite infestation.
Step 4: Listen
It is rare, but termites can make noise. This noise is often described as a rustling sound. Unfortunately, there have to be specific circumstances for this noise to be produced. There have to be numerous soldier termites inside a piece of wood, and there has to be a threat, such as ants finding a way into the tunnels. When this occurs, the soldiers will bang their heads on the tunnel walls to warn the other termites of the threat. If you happen to hear this rustling, be aware that it is a warning sign of a significant infestation.
There is another way you can use your ears to uncover a termite infestation. As termites tunnel inside wood, the wood becomes hollow. If you tap on a thick wooden timber and it sounds hollow, there is a problem. While this isn't definitive proof that you have a termite infestation, it is important to have your home inspected for wood-destroying organisms.
What To Do When You Find A Termite Problem
If you uncover termite workers, termite damage, or find evidence of termite activity, contact Innovative Pest Control immediately. Don't waste money and energy on DIY termite treatments. The investment you've made in your home is far too great to risk making a mistake. The team here at Innovative Pest Control knows what is required to ensure complete control of termites. Contact us today with any questions you may have, or request an inspection. We're here to help you protect your health and property from pest threats.