How To Tell If Your Western Massachusetts Property Has Termites

A termite on top of wood

When you become a homeowner, you get a long list of everything you’ll need to do to keep your investment safe. Avoiding termite damage is, of course, always on the list. Everyone understands that termites are a danger to your house, but you might not realize the extent of the damage they can do right under your nose.

Spotting The Signs Early

A majority of termite damage occurs because homeowners don’t recognize the signs early enough. Termites might not be able to destroy your home overnight, but it only takes 12 to 18 months for them to cost you thousands of dollars in necessary repairs and treatments.

Termites are small, greyish-white, wood-eating pests that can be very difficult to detect. Since they’re usually working within the walls of your home or beneath the foundation, you probably won’t see the actual worker termites. However, a few of the signs you might be able to notice include:

  1. Swarmers: These are the winged termites in charge of colonization and reproduction. They’re most active on warm days following a few days of rain, so keep an eye out for large, gray, buzzing clouds near trees or lampposts. These mean that you either have a termite problem already, or you will soon.
  2. Frass: This is the term used when termite droppings mix with wooden pellets that they expel from their tunnels as they work on your home. You may notice frass near the baseboards, on top of door frames, or in your cabinets.
  3. Tight-fitting Doors And Windows: This is a good indication of internal damage to the wooden frames caused by termites. Don’t write it off as normal wear and tear if you begin having problems opening or closing your doors and windows.
  4. Soft Clicking Noises From Within The Walls: Termites do not always work silently. You might be able to hear them if you listen closely.

If you spot any of these signs of termites, there isn’t much you can do about getting them out of your home and off of your property without professional treatments. However, you’ll save yourself a lot of money by spotting these signs early.

Prevention Do’s And Don'ts

While you may not be able to get termites out of your Massachusetts home on your own, there are a number of things you can do to keep your home safe before an infestation occurs. First of all, you need to understand the kinds of conditions that termites prefer the most. They would much rather infest a home that has pre-existing wood damage and rot. With this in mind, your first line of defense against termite invasions needs to be proper moisture management, including:

  • Using a dehumidifier in basements, attics, and crawl spaces
  • Limiting the standing rainwater that pools up near the foundation by utilizing an effective gutter and downspout system
  • Monitoring your pipes for leaks

Another way to limit termite attraction to your home is to limit your soil to wood contact. Any wooden parts of your home’s foundation (even behind the siding) need to have about a 12-inch buffer away from the soil. This prevents termites from discovering your home as an easily accessible food source as they’re exploring their way through the soil in your yard. You’ll also want to be careful about where you store any wood on the property. Leaving it out in the open will expose it to rot and termite activity. However, storing the wood under or around the house may attract termites as well. Keeping it stored away from the home, off the ground, and in a non-wooden structure will lower your risk significantly.

Remember, termites are still attracted to healthy wood, so you can do everything you can on your own to prevent them and still wind up with an infestation. The best prevention and eradication methods come from professional treatments and services. Call the pros at American Pest Solutions today to keep your investment safe.