When you discover termites in your home, it is most likely after years of infestation. Termites invade your home and eventually, after a couple of years developing a colony. Once the termites establish a colony, male and female termites start coming out of the nest and eventually start making satellite nests. At this stage, you are in a full-blown infestation, and your home is in real danger of costly damage. Which it is why it is wise to hire a termite specialist for an inspection before you discover termites yourself because, by that point, you could be looking at a huge repair bill along with pest removal costs.
When termites get in your walls, they will eat away at all of the wood fibers they can find, which includes the paper on drywall. When this happens, the paint will bubble up as it won’t be connected to the wall anymore. The drywall will have a sort of salt and pepper look to it once you scrape loose paint off. At this stage, the termites have been on your wall for quite some time.
If termites are in your walls, then you may notice damage to your baseboards before the wallboard. Termites are indiscriminate and will eat whatever they can find. The baseboards will seem to rot from the inside and become spongey. They will also become honeycombed, and you will be able to notice the damage by knocking on the wood of the baseboard with your knuckle. The sound will be noticeably “duller” when you hit a section where the soft parts of the wood have been eaten away. Just like the drywall, this is a later stage detection, and there is already damage to the studs in your wall.
External Mud Tunnels on Concrete Foundation
Not all termites come from the air; some come in from the ground. You’ll notice these pencil-sized mud lines on the concrete going up to the wooden portion of the structure. The termites will create these tunnels to remain covered so they can come and go without being exposed to the predators which can dry their bodies. If you catch these quickly, there is a good chance that you can avoid costly repairs since it can take a year or two for termites to establish a colony. If you see these mud lines on the foundation, call a local exterminator as soon as possible.
Discarded Wings in the Attic
The attic area is like heaven on earth to a termite. They have all the wood that they can eat, and the attic protects them from predators, and they have relatively easy access. So it isn’t a surprise that they end up in the attic. When termites are about to start a new colony, they produce winged mature adults. The male will break off his wings when he finds a suitable mate. When you find a pile of these wings in your attic, then you have a termite infestation because the wings indicate that they are there to stay.