Maybe It’s Time for a Termite Inspection
As a homeowner there are few things quite as disturbing as the suspicion that little bugs are eating your home out from under your feet. Termites in particular are especially worrying because they can cause significant damage without being detected until it’s much too late. Nothing seems amiss until you pull out a piece of your porch and discover tunnels where the little creatures have been merrily undermining the house you’ve trusted to keep you safe and warm.
Fortunately, termites are also slow workers relative to their numbers, which means that if you catch them early enough it can be quite simple to stem the tide of destruction before they do much damage. So, if you’re feeling antsy about the possibility of termites then it might be time for a termite inspection.
A Self Termite Inspection
You think you may have a termite problem but you’re not yet certain. Before calling a termite inspection professional there are a few steps you can take to determine whether you do indeed have the infestation problem you suspect you have.
When embarking on a termite inspection, consider checking your property for features which may provide termites a delicious place to begin before entering your home. A few features to watch out for:
- Wooden fencing – Termites eat wood, so if you have wooden fencing that butts up against your home the termites may first build nests in that wooden structure before they discover your home structure.
- Firewood – A pile of nice wood for burning can be a comfort in the winter months, but the termites also appreciate the effort. As a pre-caution against termite infestation be sure to store the wood off the ground and if possible keep the pile 20 feet or more from the house.
- Wood mulch – That classy wood mulch around your house may look pretty to the neighbors but it is also quite attractive to the termites and they are more than happy to take up residence near your home.
You’re likely starting to see a trend here in your termite inspection. If it’s wood then it may be termite bait and if it’s near your house then it becomes that much easier for the termites to make the jump into your walls. If your deck, porch, or playset is not made of pressure-treated wood then it too may fall victim to the termites.
Once you’ve scoped out your yard, here are a few signs to kick off your termite inspection:
- Mud tubes – These may appear along the foundation of your home, or other similarly non-wood sections. If the termites run into something they can’t eat they will build a tunnel of bits of wood and dirt. They may also fill in cracks in sheetrock or concrete to insulate themselves for maximum termite comfort.
- Alates – Termite colonies will produce sexually mature adults called alates within a few years of starting. These alates fly off to start their own colonies. However, they may fly into your home and die trying to escape and thus you may find dead, winged termites in your window sill.
Many of the signs or features listed above do not necessarily mean your house has been invaded, but if you recognize more than 1 or 2 of those features and signs you may want to call a termite inspection professional to check your property. At the very least it will help you sleep at night.