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Last updated: June 11, 2018  Outside of all of the pests that homeowners face, you will find none which are as expensive and as damaging as termites. These insects feed on cellulose, the organic fibrous substance in timber and plants, meaning they will literally eat your residence, so youll need to get rid of them fast. .

There are two main ways that termites may come to infest your house (assuming they werent already there in the first place); from atmosphere and through the ground.

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Even a drywood termite infestation normally takes place when an existing colony sends out flying termite swarmers. Once these swarmers find a wooden crevice in your home, they lose their wings, split out a tiny nest, and begin laying eggs to initiate a brand new termite colony.

On the other hand, subterranean termites, whose colonies are underground, can enter your home through its foundations. As these termites forage for food, they may stumble upon a wealthy new food source your home. Subterranean termites commonly build mud tunnels over foundation walls to get the wooden areas of the structure.

Note: While there are different species of termites, these are the two most common species responsible for most of the harm to peoples homes.

One of the main reasons that termites can be so damaging is the time that many homeowners find the infestation, severe damage has already been done. A termite infestation is similar to cancer; notice it early and chances are pretty good, grab it late and the treatment will likely be painful and intensive. .

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Because of this, it is extremely important that you learn to identify the signs of a termite infestation. Keep a look out for the following:

If you see a swarm of winged termites near or around your home, thats a sure sign that a termite colony is nearby. Much like winged ants, these winged termites are more very likely to swarm around a light source. Additionally they seem rather similar, and the layperson will not be able to tell them apart. .

Termite swarmers dont keep their wings long. Once they lose their wings, they are in search of areas to build new nests.

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If you notice small piles of lost swarmers wings on places like window sills, or caught in spider webs, there might be a termite colony nearby; or even one going to begin.

Mud tubes are little tunnels built by termites to transport food back to their own colony. Source: masseyservices.com

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Subterranean termites build mud tubes (sometimes known as guardian or foraging tubes) as links between their food source and their colony. These are made of dirt, debris, and timber, and they help protect the colony against predators and conserve moisture.

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In case you've got a subterranean termite infestation, you'll find these tubes in the foundations of your house or in its substructure.

As subterranean termites eat through the timber of your house, they create termite galleries. These will be the empty spaces left in the wood as they burrow through it. Normally, termite galleries run parallel to the grain of this wood.

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Drywood termites leave behind their fecal droppings as they munch through the wood in your house. Their droppings, known as frass, are pellet-shaped, and look like thick grains of sand or sawdust. If you find mounds of termite droppings in and around your house, you likely have a drywood termite infestation. .

Termites will eat your home from the inside out; thats exactly what makes them so insidious. A piece of wood could look perfectly normal on the outside but be absolutely infested with termites on the inside. If you suspect a termite infestation at a certain area, tap or puncture the timber to see whether its hollow.

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Coupled with different signs of termite infestation, swollen wooden floorboards can mean there is termite damage underneath them.

Termites like dark and moist locations. Thats why they live just under the surface of additional hints the wood and bring in moisture into their termite galleries. This moisture can often cause the wood to swell. In case you have termites in your wooden floors, the floors will likely begin to swell. Similarly, the moisture can also result in the paint on wooden surfaces to peel or bubble; especially if the termites have eaten all of the way up to the paint coating. .

Since these signs are very similar to the signs of general water flows (since theyre either due to moisture), be sure to rule out any water leaks . If you've determined that water leaks are not the reason, you can inspect further by seeing whether the timber has become hollow.

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