Signs of Termites
What are Termite Warning Signs for Your Home?
Due to their subterranean lifestyle, the average termite infestation proves somewhat hard to detect in homes.
Many modern buildings erected in urban landscapes, like those found in New England, feature foundations and structural designs that defend against or inhibit termite infestations.
Subterranean termites gain entry into structures in areas where soil is in direct contact with the slab/foundation(baseboards or foundation studs that sit directly in or in close proximity to the ground/soil).
Besides structural timbers, termites can also feed on:
- Other wood-derived materials
The most prevalent type of termite found throughout New England is the eastern subterranean termite, or Reticulitermes flavipes.
The primary sign of a termite infestation is the presence of winged, adult termites (or their shed wings) inside a structure. Winged termites, or swarmers, are the primary reproductive within a termite colony.
Swarming termites are attracted to light during their mating seasons, which stands atypical of worker termites and soldier termites, who rarely venture outside of the networks of tunnels (below ground) and mud tubes (above ground) that establish the colony foraging area.
Any evidence of swarming termites serves as an excellent indication of infestation.
Other ways to identify termite infestation include examining household woodwork for evidence of tunneling/mud tubes on exposed surfaces or damage caused by the insect.
Infested or damaged wood bears noticeable markings, like that of tunnels or running, along the affected areas. The tunnels or tubes may wind throughout a given piece of wood.
Cross-sections of infected pieces of wood reveal mostly or fully hollowed-out passages. Homeowners will note a variance or discoloration in the outer appearances of infected woodwork.
The tunneling results in an earthy, muddy residue (soil plus termite feces/frass) that collects on the wood just on the outside of the pathways tunneled.