The termites we battle in our area are subterranean termites. These wood-destroying insects are very sneaky. They can attack Hartford properties for years without being detected. Today, we're going to offer up four sure signs that there is termite activity in your property and offer some advice for protecting your property from damage.
1. Worker Termites
Worker termites are the workhorses of a termite colony. The job of workers is to consume food sources and share the food with other termites in their colony. They do this by way of a process called trophallaxis. But thousands, and even millions, of workers can feed on a property without being detected. This is because they feed on the inside of wood. So how can workers be a warning sign of termite activity? Here are a few ways:
If you do a renovation, you might find these insects crawling around in wall voids, or in exposed tunnels. They may sometimes create exposed tunnels if it is dark and moist enough.
If you cut into a stump, log, or dead tree on your property, you might find worker termites inside.
If you lift an object in your yard, particularly something made of wood, cardboard, or another material that is a source of food for termites, you might find workers crawling around underneath.
If you rake mulch and examine the space between your mulch and the soil, you might find worker termites.
If you find these tiny, pale insects, you won't have to wonder if you have an infestation. Worker termites feed on multiple sources of food at the same time. While they're eating wood in a wood pile, or consuming a rotted portion of your fence, they're likely to be feeding on the wood of your home at the same time.
2. Shelter Tubes
When worker termites attack Hartford homes, they often create shelter tubes running up foundation walls and other hard surfaces. These tubes can be as thin as a pencil, or several feet thick if many tubes have been established in one location. If you go into a crawl space under your home and see a three-foot column of mud, things are serious. If you find one line of mud going up the side of your foundation wall, it might not be too bad. It is also possible that the termites that made the tube are no longer active. Break a piece off and check the tube a few days later. If it has been reconstructed, you have an active infestation. But, regardless of your findings, it is a good idea to contact a termite control professional at the first sign of shelter tubes.
3. Wood Damage
As we mentioned above, most of the damage termites do is on the inside of wood. You're not likely to see damage until walls begin to bulge, floors begin to sink, and windows begin to stick. But, damage is sometimes seen in dark, damp places. If you have a crawl space under your home, or a cellar, the conditions might be right for you to see termite damage. This damage may look like splintering, or you may see trenches that look dirty. Subterranean termites bring soil up into the wood tunnels they create. This is why they look dirty and feel gritty to the touch. If you see termite damage, it is a sure sign of termite activity because termites continue to feed on wood until they've consumed as much as they can consume.
This is perhaps the most obvious warning sign of a termite infestation, but we hope you never see it. Why? Because a termite nest doesn't produce swarmers until it has matured. This can take several years. That means the appearance of termite swarmers in your Hartford home is a sign that your home has been damaged for years. There are a few other reasons you shouldn't wait to see swarmers:
When you see swarmers inside, it is a sign of a severe infestation. The subterranean termites we have in Hartford rarely create indoor nests, making it rare for them to release swarmers inside. Swarmers only emerge inside when a nest is very close to a property, and close proximity allows workers to go back and forth more quickly from their nest to your home.
It is usually difficult to see swarmers as a warning sign because they emerge outside. In a few short minutes, they can leave your yard and enter a neighboring property.
Termite swarmers don't last for more than 30 minutes. They select mates, disperse, and begin to create nests. If they do this in your yard while you're out getting some fast food, you could return home to a much worse situation and never know it.
Hartford Termite Control
Don't wait until you see warning signs of sneaky termites. Reach out to American Pest Solutions today and speak with one of our termite control professionals about what would work best to protect your property from termite damage.