Termites are usually not detected until it’s too late and they can cause severe damage. For example, Elin Nordegren (Tiger Woods’ ex) demolished her $12 million mansion because of termite damage. And, it isn’t solely a Southern problem. Termites can be found in every state except Alaska. Once a year, take a look around your home. If you have one or more of these five signs of damage, call a professional:
Check for swarming. Swarms are the most visible indicator that there’s a termite problem, especially during the spring. Termites take flight from their colony in the spring to establish a new home. To check for swarms, look closely at your windowsills. If you have a termite problem, you’ll see termite bodies lying below windows where they’ve tried to escape. Termites look like three-six millimeter white ants.
Next, check your foundation walls for shelter tubes. Termites build pencil-thick tunnels of mud to travel from their underground colonies to your shelter. Look around your foundation walls for tubes. If you find one, break one off. If it’s rebuilt, termites are active in those tubes.
If there is mulch or rotting wood near your home’s foundation, pull it back and look for termites. If you see a few bugs, more are likely lurking in or near your home.
If wood near your foundation or close to your house is suspect, probe it with a knife. If it has been hollowed, it’s likely that termites have infested your wood.
When you’re looking at the wood, search for dirt. If there is loose dirt present in the wood, it’s termite damage, not water damage.
If you have one or more of these problems, call a professional exterminator. Unfortunately, termites are one pest you cannot handle yourself. Be sure to show an exterminator exactly where you’ve found damage.
Once a professional has eradicated the termites, eliminate moisture problems and eradicate food sources to prevent future issues. A neglected sump pump may be the cause of your moisture problem. To learn more about sump pump maintenance, read: Inspect Your Sump Pump and Backup Sump Pump