Of course, you know that termites are bad news. These destructive pests that can destroy the value of your home as well as your home itself, eating away at the wood and plaster so fast it can suffer major damage in a few short years or even months. And because of Charleston’s location in the South, we have to deal with not one but several species of termite, including Formosan, dry wood, and subterranean termites.
But termites can be very hard for someone other than a pest control professional to detect. They’re often silent and invisible, quietly wreaking havoc on your home. So how do you know if you have them? Here are some ways to see, hear, and smell if you’re living with these unwanted guests.
How To Tell If You've Got Termites
You see termites. Let’s start with the obvious. If you see a termite, you have a termite problem. Termites appear similar to ants, but have straight, beadlike antennae; evenly sized wings; and a broad “waist” (different from the ant’s narrow “waist”). If you’re not sure whether you’re looking at an ant or a termite, call in a pest control expert to identify what you’ve got.
You see a swarm in spring or summer. Termites mate in springtime. On a warm day, you may see a big swarm of winged termites inside or outside your home. Be careful – they’re going to reproduce and start a new colony, and they might do so in your house.
You find lots of tiny wings on the floor. After termites pair up to reproduce, they shed their wings and settle down to start a new colony. Even if you didn’t see the actual swarm of flying termites, you might find evidence of their reproductive frenzy in a pile of little termite wings on the floor.
You see little tunnels made of mud along your home’s walls. Termites travel in these mud tunnels from their nest to the food (i.e., your house) and back. If you find tunnels that appear to be the diameter of a straw, you might be looking at termites.
You hear a hollow sound in a wall that shouldn’t sound hollow. Termites eat wood from the inside out, so you may hear the destruction before you see it.
You smell something like mildew or mold. Termites produce a musty smell.
You see the damage that looks like water damage. Bulging surfaces of ceilings, walls and even floors can indicate termite damage.
You get a termite inspection. Although there are many ways termites give themselves away, the fact of the matter is that they could be living in – and destroying – your house for a long time before you even realize it. Hire a pest control company like Anchor Pest Management to inspect your home, especially if you live in South Carolina or another location where termites are highly active. If there’s evidence of termite colonies, we have solutions to get rid of the termites and stop further damage.
Don’t let these critters destroy your home! Call and arrange an inspection today.