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Different Kinds of Termites and the Unseen Damage They Cause (Part 2 of 2)March 21st, 2013 by
No matter what part of the US you live in,Part 1 of our blog shows that there’s likely a species of termite that could cause severe damage to your home if left unchecked. But how can you determine whether or not these elusive pests are hollowing out your home right under your nose? Read on for telltale signs that you might be suffering from a termite infestation.
Termite Damage in Your Home
Since termites eat wood from the inside, the damage can be concealed until it’s too late for a simple fix. We often think of termites as eating machines focused only on wood, but the truth is that they’ll go after anything containing cellulose.
That includes plants or products made from plant-based material, such as paper and some kinds of carpet. Termites will even bore through materials like soft plastic in their search for cellulose.
Drywoods are the most commonly seen termite in the home since they don’t need soil to survive and they’re willing to eat through sheetrock, wallpaper, and other building materials.
Subterranean termites, on the other hand, like to stay close to moisture and tend to remain in basements and crawlspaces, where they damage wooden structural elements near the home’s foundation. They’ll also damage many other things on your property that are made of wood, including trees and fences.
Here are just a few indications that you’re experiencing a termite infestation:
- Wood makes an empty, hollow sound when knocked on. Termites eat away at wood from the inside out, so if you notice this sound when knocking on your walls or doors, call your local pest and termite control professional.
- Doors don’t close properly and windows stick. Termites eat the surrounding wood in doorjambs and windows, allowing water in and causing the structure to swell and weaken.
- Interior paint bubbles and peels from the wall. Termite-damaged drywall allows air and moisture to come between the surface and the paint—a tell-tale sign of an infestation.
- Exit holes and termite droppings. If you find holes in your walls with small pellets of termite waste nearby, that’s a sign you have termites, specifically the drywood variety.
- Floors sag, walls buckle, and laminate tiles curl. Termites will eat away at a home’s structure and weaken integral components, resulting in compromised floor joists, drywall panels, and subflooring.
- Mud tubes. Mud tubes are tunnels that some kinds of termites use to transport food back to the colony. Mud tubes near your home’s foundation, windows, or any other surface are an indication of termites, likely from the subterranean family.
No matter what kind of termites you may have, your home and surrounding property can be vulnerable to structural damage.
Even though termites attack in a variety of ways and in myriad places, a competent professional can determine what kind of pest you’re dealing with and choose the best method of eradication.