There are several easy ways to tell that you have a termite problem. Unfortunately, the easy ways are not likely to protect your property from damage. These are warning signs that appear after termites have had several years to feed. The signs we are referring to are doors and windows that stick, or windows that don't stay open, wood floors that are buckling or warping, walls that look like they are bulging from water damage, deterioration in window and door frames, and ceilings that are sinking down. When you start to see this kind of damage, it is likely too late. Why? Because termites feed exclusively inside the matter they are feeding on. If they feed on the wood of your home, they'll do so on the inside of 2x4s, support timbers, and other wood.
If you want to protect your Opelika, AL property from costly termite damage, you need to go looking for signs. Here are a few to look for:
1. Shelter Tubes
Subterranean termites create above-ground tunnels from soil and saliva. These are sometimes called mud tubes because of the material used to create them. Shelter tubes are rarely an obvious sign. Workers construct these tubes in dark, damp, and hidden places. You are probably going to have to crawl under a deck or into a crawl space to find these.
2. Worker Termites
It is possible to find worker termites, but you have to do the work to uncover them. We have some suggestions that can help you find them. Inspect your yard for stumps, logs, wood that touches the soil, cardboard boxes that sit on the ground, wooden fence posts that go into the ground, and other termite food sources that touch the soil. In these areas, you can cut into wood to find termite tunnels and active termites, or dig into the ground to find them.
If termites are feeding on a piece of wood, you may hear them inside. Soldier termites will click their heads against tunnel walls when they sense danger. This might be ants that have found their way into termite tunnels, or some other insect threat. If there are enough termites in your walls, and a threat has come up into the termite tunnels, you might hear an audible clicking sound. But don't trust the protection of your property to this warning sign. You may never hear a single click.
When you see a few white-winged termites come into your yard, you could be looking at the start of a termite infestation. After termites swarm, males and females couple and break away from the group. Recognizing one little swarmer landing on your skin could save you thousands in home repairs.
A swarmer has white wings that are much longer than its body.
The wings stack on top of each other.
The wings create a rounded arc at the tips.
The body of a swarmer will be black or dark red.
If you see a large group of swarmers on the outside of your home, it is a warning sign of a current and active termite colony on your property, or near your property. Swarmers do not travel far from the nest that produced them.
The warning signs listed above are difficult to detect, especially if you don't take the time to roll up your sleeves and do a detailed inspection. If you don't currently have ongoing, always active termite protection for your property, we recommend that you at least invest in yearly termite inspections. While active protection is better, a professional termite inspection is the next best thing—and far better than doing your own inspections. A termite control professional knows where to look, what to look for, and what equipment works to get the best results.
Do you live in Opelika, Alabama? Is your property protected? If not, contact Prewett Pest Control today and set up a visit with one of our professionals. Don't waste your time and money on DIY termite control that may ultimately allow your property to be damaged anyway. Let our termite control team give your property the protection it needs to prevent the destructive impact of Alabama subterranean termites.