5 Signs you have a Termite Problem

signs termite problem
June 4, 2023
Fred Wingate

The need for termite control is a scary thought for many homeowners. These pests are remarkably destructive, and once they become a problem, there is often a great deal of damage that needs repair, not to mention eradicating the actual pest problem.

Subterranean Termites and Their Destructive Nature

Termites thrive in warmer climates, so their activity is most prominent in the South, Southeast, West, and Southwest. The best-known termite types are dry wood, damp wood, and subterranean termites. Here, we’ll focus on the last and most destructive group.

The queen is the largest of the subterranean termites, with wings nearly twice as long as her body. The king is smaller. The reproductive termite swarmers have long, dark brown bodies and translucent, light brown wings. Their bodies typically measure about a quarter to half an inch in length.

Workers and soldiers have cream-colored bodies, are wingless, and are up to a quarter inch long. Their tiny but powerful jaws help them chew wood and move obstructive materials. Soldiers have a distinctive appearance: large jaws, rectangular heads, and wide, flat bodies.

Given this description of the varied members of a termite colony, we should remind you that you are less likely to see the insects themselves than evidence of their presence — which can be overwhelming, as you’ll see below.

1. Dirt or mud tubes leading from the garage slab to foundation walls

Subterranean termites need moisture to survive since they are highly vulnerable to dehydration. Worker termites use dirt and wood particles combined with saliva to construct mud tubes for shelter. These tubes lock in moisture and protect the termites from dry air and predators.

Mud tubes (or tunnels) are thin, winding pathways the width of a pencil and are often found on or near wood structures or concrete or stone foundations. Subterranean tunnels thus join colonies in the underground soil to above-ground food sources.

2. Wood damage around door jambs or window sills

Wood damage around door jambs or window sills is a significant indicator of a potential termite problem. Due to the proximity to the ground and potential exposure to moisture, door jambs and window sills are particularly vulnerable to termite attacks.

Termites typically feed on wood from the inside out, leaving a very thin veneer of undamaged wood on the surface. This means the affected areas may appear intact at first glance, but can be severely damaged internally.

3. Weak points in baseboards, quarter-round damage, or holes in drywall

Subterranean termites are a primary cause of termite damage in the U.S., and their colonies can become very large. So if you notice any potential activity, there’s a good chance more of these house-devouring insects are nearby.
Walls are particularly vulnerable to termite damage, and any holes or cavities inside those walls can indicate their presence. Moreover, any evidence of chewed wood or drywall damage further confirms that termites could be eating parts of your home — especially any cellulose-containing materials.

4. Dark or blistered wood trim or wooden structural members

When termites feed on the cellulose in wood and wood-based materials (e.g., drywall), the source will eventually become brittle or hollow. As a result, woodpiles or termite-infested timber will look like it has been wholly carved and tunneled through. In some cases, you may notice wood shavings or splintered wood.

Subterranean termites can easily damage wood floors in ways that make them appear to have water damage. These blisters suggest that termites could be feeding just beneath the flooring.

5. Discarded insect wings near doors or window sills

Since termite swarmers are responsible for starting new families in the colony or starting an entirely new colony, they do little, if any, damage to your home. However, shed wings do indicate that an existing termite colony is building another once the swarm has picked a new queen and king. And that signals an impending onslaught of new termites.

What To Do if You Suspect Termites Are Eating Your House

First things first: Get rid of them! The easiest, most efficient, and most effective way to do this is to contact your most trusted pest control company for a termite inspection, followed immediately by the termite control measures you need.

But many intrepid Charlotte area homeowners prefer to DIY the job. So if you’re one of them, we recommend trying the following:

Termiticide Barriers

If you can find them, apply these termite treatments to your home’s exterior perimeter to create a barrier. Termites can’t detect the poison, so they won’t avoid it. When a termite eats materials treated with termiticide, directly or through the colony, it dies.
Direct Chemicals

Unlike termiticides, direct chemical treatments work indoors. So, if you spot a termite, you can get rid of it immediately. Spray Termidor Foam directly into termite hiding places, like cracks, voids, and crevices. The odorless foam expands and then evaporates, leaving a residue that poisons termites when they touch it.

Termite Baits

When installed around the perimeter of your home’s foundation, baits attract scavenging termites to the tempting poison. The slow-acting toxin interrupts their growth, killing them as they attempt to molt. Since the toxins have delayed action, the infected termites will return the insecticide to the colony, transmitting it to other termites.

Beneficial Nematodes

These microscopic, segmented roundworms are natural parasites to many garden pests — including termites. Beneficial nematodes burrow into their host and release a symbiotic gut bacteria that poisons the termite’s blood, killing them within days.

Boric Acid

Many termite control products in stores use boric acid as a main ingredient. This acid works by dehydrating the termites and shutting down their nervous systems.

Call Us Today!

Home and business owners dread termites! So, if you notice anything suspicious around your home or property, call Noosa Pest Management for a complimentary termite inspection. The peace of mind we offer along with our innovative termite control recommendations will cost you absolutely nothing!

So, expect our talented team of termite treatment experts to inspect the premises and provide the appropriate termite treatment for your situation. Call us at 704-499-9922.

Fred Oct2023

Fred Wingate

Chief Bugman

Fred Wingate is the dedicated Owner and Chief Bugman at Noosa Pest Management, a thriving pest control company in Charlotte, NC. He established the company in 2006 with a vision to provide exceptional pest management services to the local community. By staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in pest management and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, he ensures that Noosa Pest remains at the forefront of the industry.

Not only is Fred deeply invested in the well-being and satisfaction of his clientele, he is also passionate about supporting the local community, including schools, churches, and other organizations. The future of our community is important to Noosa Pest, and proudly contributes to its growth and prosperity.

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