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Would You Recognize Termite Activity in Your Home?

April 1, 2015

Termites are the dread of every homeowner, and rightfully so. These insects have a seemingly insatiable appetite for cellulose, which is essentially what comprises wood. A termite infestation can make quick work of residential lumber, rendering it structurally unsound faster than you might think. What’s worse: termites behave like secret agents on a covert operation – you will not see them in action because they feed on wood from the inside out. Also, termites don’t live in the wood they’re destroying; they live in the soil surrounding your home. So, even though it can take several years for termites to do noticeable damage to your home, you will be unaware of their presence unless you know what to look for and you hire a pest professional.

The best defense against termites is a good offense. By offense we mean a proactive inspection program like the Scherzinger Guardian Plus Program. Unless you live in Alaska, termites are a threat to your home, as they exist in every other state. Take a few minutes to learn some of the warning signs and schedule annual home inspections from a pest specialist beginning immediately.

North American Termites

Because termites live in the soil as they feed on wood, they don’t leave many physical clues. However, one such clue is the appearance of muddy-looking substances on wood surfaces. The mud you see is actually soil and waste from the termite that is visible when they “eat through” to an outer surface of a board. It can give the wood a muddy appearance and residue.

One class of termites are swarmer termites that fly, and when they swarm typically in the spring, they often shed tiny wings, which are noticeable and are typically found around windows. The most common condition is a large number of swarming termites – either from outside or within your home – which make the wings noticeable when they are shed. It would be very difficult for anyone unfamiliar with termites or not specifically looking for physical signs to readily notice and identify termite wings.

Because there are about 40 different species of termites in the U.S., it’s best to leave the diagnostics to a professional. However, if termites are feeding inside a piece of wood and you expose it, you will be able to see them. Generally, they are quite small and appear white or yellow – not unlike the color of the wood they’re consuming. The swarming termites are black with wings twice the size of their body.

Small holes and mud tubes in wood are common signs of significant termite activity. If you see holes and mud tubes in a structural board which should be solid, tap it with a hammer. If termites have eaten away the inside, the board will sound hollow when struck.

A proactive inspection of your home on a routine basis may help you detect termites. However, because of the complexities in identifying termites as well as the remediation of an infestation, the best measure you can take to protect your home is to arrange for home inspections from a pest professional, like Scherzinger Pest Control.

Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award

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