By Gene Wright
Alexandria, VA – How can you know if there are termites in your home? These voracious wood-eating insects can invade a house and cause permanent, irreparable damage, even during winter months.
If you have an infestation that is not yet serious, it may be hard to tell that termites have moved in. But do not worry. In this article, we will walk you through the common early warning signs of termites and help you stop these pests before they have a chance to take over.
Here are a few signs you should watch for:
Discarded wings are one of the first warning signs of termites and are typically seen during spring months when the insects swarm and reproduce.
If you find discarded wings in your home, or near vulnerable wood like door and window frames, it could be a sign of an infestation.
Bubbling Wood or Paint
As termites feed, they create hollow openings and tunnels in your home’s wood structures. These channels are eventually filled with moisture the insects secrete as they feed.
This moisture eventually builds up in the wood, creating an effect that looks like water damage. Blistering, bubbling, and peeling is a potential sign of termites that should never go ignored!
To date, we only have one termite species in Alexandria, the eastern subterranean termite. This termite species builds mud tubes or tunnels between their colonies and potential food sources.
These tubes are most found near the home’s foundation, leading from the ground up to wood. Each tube looks like a narrow vein or pathways of mud that follows an irregular or winding pattern. If you find mud tubes on or around your home, the time to act is now.
Warped Window and Door Frames
While it is one of the less obvious signs of termite damage, you should keep an eye out for damage to this wood, which is often exposed and accessible.
When termites eat into window and door frames, the wood warps in a way that looks like water damage. This warping can make doors and windows harder to open and close properly.
Getting Rid of Termites
The type of termite infestation and the size of the colony determine how difficult it will be to remove. If the infestation is small and localized, you might be able to contain it with a DIY termite control solution. These over-the-counter products work well, but only for small infestations. But the termites could be living in a nearby property and still infest your house. Once termites have found a source of food, they will always return for more.
Professional exterminators offer the most effective termite control solutions. If your property is infested and you are not sure where to start, your best bet is to team up with professionals.
Finally, here are some things you can do to prevent or at least limit termite infestations in the future:
· Minimize wood-to-soil contact in sheds, fence posts, and other wooden structures
· Store firewood away from your house
· Make sure all areas around your home’s foundation are properly drained
· Minimize the use of sprinkler systems
· Remove tree stumps along with their root systems
· Remove decaying mulch