Termites are interesting creatures. These little guys are sometimes referred to as the silent killer, but they are not always silent. In fact, there are a few tells you can use to identify a termite infestation. They are not always identified until the damage is extensive. Consistently looking for signs of termites in your home will help you to avoid a potentially pricey problem. Catching them early on will save your wallet and your home from some damage.
Head Banging and Rock Music
If you suspect you might have termites, put your ear up to the wall and listen. There will be a few tells—termites are not quiet eaters. You can often hear them munching away. You may also hear a quiet clicking sound coming from the walls.
Termites bang their hangs against the wood when the colony is disturbed to signify any possible danger to other termites. Listen up for this headbanging and loud eating, it could mean termites.
Studies have shown that certain music can make termites eat faster—specifically rock music. Termites can detect vibrations and more upbeat vibrations can inspire them to chew through your wood at twice the speed.
Monitoring stations are a great way to detect if termites are present in your area. The monitoring stations are commonly equipped with compressed wood that easily rots. This serves as an attractant. The monitoring stations are easy to check and you can remove the block inside. This will allow for a thorough visual inspection.
Seeing White Ants
Often times when people have termites in their house they start to see what looks like white ants. However, these are actually termites. Termites are light in color and similar in size to ants. Termites and ants can both have wings. Compared to ants, termites have straight antennas and can look somewhat translucent. If you are seeing light colored ants, they are not ants but are likely termites.
Flying Termites and Discarded Wings
The first sign of a termite infestation is flying termites. These flying termites are males and females that are looking for mates. Once they find a mate, they set up a colony and shed their wings. Seeing discarded wings is also a sign of termites. Catching them before they set up a colony and multiple could save you from a real problem.
Hollow Sounding Timber
Certain types of termites consume wood from the inside out, leading to a hollowed out wood. When you knock on an area that has been damaged by termites, it will sound hollow. Termite damage is often discovered when walls and door frames and too easily broken through. If walls are sounding thin, they might be infested with termites.
Tight Windows and Doors
Stiff windows and doors are another sign of termites. Termites produce moisture while eating can cause wood to warp, making doors and windows stiff and hard to open. If you notice your doorframes tightening up and your windows warping, check for termites.
A sure sign of termites—termite droppings. If an area is infested with dry wood termites, you will likely see small black marks and a dark powdery substance. Other kinds of termites will not leave droppings behind, so you may not always be able to tell by droppings, but if you do see them—you certainly have termites.
Fixing the problem
There are a few different ways to kill active termites on your property. For the sake of this article we are solely speaking of subterranean termites. Preparation is key to a successful termite treatment. The infested areas need to be exposed by removing and replacing the damaged sheet rock and wood. Water damaged areas should also be replaced. Spot spraying will be an active part of this process. All infested materials should be thrown away immediately.
Trenching and rodding is of the most popular ways. Digging trenches that are commonly 6″ by 4″ around the perimeter of the foundation is essential to placing the product down. Most of the labels will commonly require a treatment of so many gallons of mixed solutions per 10 linear feet. For concrete areas it is necessary to drill, using a concrete bit and hammer drill, a few inches off the foundation through the walkways bordering the perimeter of the home. It is essential that the technician or individual drill all the way through the concrete to make soil contact. The holes will be made every 12″ to 16″ depending on the product label used. Using a spray tank, equipped with a termite trenching rod, will allow the technician to spray the necessary amount of solution in each hole. Essentially you are forming a chemical barrier around the perimeter of the home. It is also necessary to treat the interior of the home 15 to 20ft out from the active site. It is recommended to use a termiticide like termidor or taurus sc. There are cheaper alternatives like Tengard SFR. The difference between the two products will be the amount of residual the product provides against re-invasion.
Interior services can be completed by spot treating the infested areas using trench and rod techniques, spot spraying, or foaming. You will find links below for DIY purposes.
If you suspect that you may have termites give us at All Green a call and we will get you taken care of quickly! Don’t wait until its too late!