Does your deck have termites? Termites are adept at hiding—doing thousands of dollars of damage in secret—which is why it’s important to know the signs that termites are damaging your deck.
Keep reading to learn how to spot a termite problem—before they completely ruin your deck, garden, shed, and the rest of your home.
Signs of Termites in Your Deck
Left undisturbed, termites can cause massive damage to wooden structures. But how do they get away with destroying your property for so long?
Termites are typically out of sight: they live in colonies underground and eat wood (their food source) from the inside out. Unlike other, more obvious pests, you have to watch very closely for the signs of termites.
Here are a few of the signs your home’s deck, garden shed, or gazebo has a termite problem:
#1 You find mud tubes on the walls or foundation.
Termites travel from their underground colonies to their food source via mud tubes, a tunnel made by the termites out of earth and saliva. Mud tubes are brown, about the width of a pencil, and meander up walls like forking tree branches.
Seeing mud tubes on the walls of your deck, shed, gazebo or your home’s foundation is a clear sign of termites.
#2 The paint is peeling or bubbling.
Termites need moisture; they don’t emerge from the earth or their hiding places inside wood to dry out. Over time, their moisture can cause damage to the wood’s paint, causing peeling or bubbling. Also, the paint may bubble or peel if the wood behind the paint is eaten away—leaving nothing holding the thin coat of paint up.
Peeling or bubbling paint on your deck, shed, or gazebo is a sign of potential termites.
#3 The wood is cracked, splintering, or falling apart.
Termites chew tunnels through the wood they’re eating. Eventually, this damage leads to a wooden deck or shed falling apart, as the wood starts to crack and splinter from the inside out. The wood might shrink in size or warp. Boards might even collapse when you walk on them or crumble when you knock on them.
Finding the wood of your deck or shed in this condition could mean a termite problem.
#4 The deck’s boards are springy.
A good deck is stable, with boards that are hard, solid, and immobile. Internal termite damage will result in boards that are unstable, springy, and hollow. If you notice the wooden boards of your deck have become hollow or springy, this could be a termite problem.
Is It Termites or Something Else?
Termites are always tricky to identify for the average homeowner—but when it comes to decks, garden sheds, gazebos, and other outdoor structures, it’s even trickier.
That’s because these outdoor structures are exposed to the elements. Things like excess moisture and wood rot can peel the paint off your gazebo and destroy the boards in your deck. Many homeowners never even think of termites as a possibility, assuming that they need to do a better job sealing the paint or replace a few rotten boards. All the while, termites continue to eat away at their property. Eventually, the termites might even spread to the home nearby.
You don’t want to make the mistake of letting termites roam free!
If you notice any of the signs we mentioned above, or any other signs termites might be inside your home, it’s important to call a pest pro.
A qualified pest professional can take a look at your deck, shed, and home to determine what’s ruining the wood. If it’s termites, the pro will determine how best to eliminate the problem quickly to save your deck!
Suspect Termites? Call Us Today
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, 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 through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.