Telltale Signs That Termites Have Taken Up Residence In Your Home

Home & Garden Blog

Termites are one of nature's most frustrating pests, as these silent invaders can wreak havoc on homes and structures, yet go unnoticed by homeowners for extended periods of time. This is due to the fact that when termites enter homes, the pesky critters build colonies an inside of walls and structures, feeding off of wood and cellulose-based building materials. When termites do venture out, it is typically after the damage has been done, which often leads to high repair costs and angry homeowners. While it isn't always easy to detect these little pests before it's too late, the good news is that there are signs for homeowners to look out for that can indicate the presence of an infestation. When detected early, pest control methods such as fumigation and wood treatments can help to ensure that every insect is accounted for, as well as prevent future damage and infestations. 

It's Not Sawdust!

One of the most common signs of a drywood termite infestation is the presence of frass, also referred to as termite excrement. Termite frass is similar in appearance to sawdust and often appears beneath wood cabinets and inside of wooden bookcases. This is unfortunate, as many homeowners make the mistake of assuming the frass is simply sawdust that somehow crumbled from the wood.

The reality is that these tiny granules are actually termite feces that fall from "kick-out" holes in the wood. When termites eliminate digested wood, their waste builds up inside of the enclosed colonies. In order to make room for additional waste and keep the colony clean, active termites create holes in the wood, and the waste falls out of the hole. Termite frass is commonly found in small piles and is orange to brown in color. 

Bulging Paint or Wallpaper 

Another common sign of a termite infestation is the presence of bubbles or bulges in the walls. While the immediate thought many homeowners have is that there's a busted pipe or some type of water leak, termites are often the culprit. When subterranean termites enter the home through cracks in the foundation or other points of entry, they build above-ground nests within the walls. As the nests grow, the pressure affects the surrounding walls, which in turn causes bubbling and bulging. 

Swarms and Wings

When termites decide to make their presence known, it is often in the form of a swarm. As the termites in subterranean colonies reach maturity, the winged kings and queens venture out of the nests in search of new colonization locations. The swarmers are commonly found in groups near moist areas such windowsills and doorways following a rainstorm, as well as showers and bathtubs. Swarmers also leave wings behind that are clear in color and similar in appearance to fish scales. 

A Termite-Free Environment

Termite infestations can cause significant damage when these maddening insects go undetected. Understanding the telltale signs of a potential infestation and contacting a professional fumigation specialist can help to ensure prompt remediation and protection against future invasions. 

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5 February 2015

Wasted Basement? Renovate It and Rent It

My husband and I have a large basement we've never really used. We started storing items in it, and it seemed like such a waste of a large area of our home. We also have a nephew in college in the area who we knew was paying a high price for an apartment he could barely afford. We came up with the idea of turning our basement into a mini-apartment and offering it to him for less than his current rent. He loved the idea, and the renovation was faster than we imagined it would be. We are all so happy it all worked out, and that we had a great basement to help my nephew through college at the same time. I created this blog to encourage others to use their basement for more than just holding boxes.