Believe it or not, termites have lived for more than 120 million years, from the time of the dinosaurs. They are considered “silent destroyers” because of their ability to gnaw through wood and paper in the different portions of your property undetected.
Because they typically start under your house, termites can go unnoticed for quite some time. Most homeowners discover an infestation only after these tiny creatures have wreaked havoc already. One way to prevent this is to know what signs to look for.
Termites in Oklahoma City
Termites thrive in every state of the US, except for Alaska. They prefer warm climates and are often the most active in the south, southeast, west, and southwest parts of the United States. These insects are considered to be the most destructive in North America. The Eastern subterranean termite is the specie that is most commonly found in Oklahoma City.
Termite season typically peaks in the spring, when swarms of these wood-eating insects leave their colonies to search for mates and new places to build nests. It is essential to recognize a termite problem before it gets out of hand. Preventing a full-blown infestation will save you thousands of dollars in repair and extermination costs.
How Can You Be Sure if You Have Termites in Your Home?
Because they typically live underground, subterranean termites are difficult to detect. Nevertheless, there will be tell-tale signs that they exist below your property. So stay vigilant and ensure your property is inspected periodically to prevent significant damage later. Here are the five early signs of a possible termite infestation:
1. Suddenly, Hard-to-Open Windows or Doors
Sometimes, a window or door that suddenly feels stuck or harder to open or close is an early warning sign that there are termites in your midst. They tend to target locations like windows and doorframes because of the exposed wood in these locations. When they begin to consume portions of the wood, it causes the window and door frames to warp.
Squeaky floorboards, crumbling baseboards, and sagging ceilings are three others signs of a potential termite infestation. Look at the wood closely and check whether the cause of damage is due to rotting or humidity.
Because they thrive in moisture, subterranean termites bring small amounts of moisture as they devour the timber in your home. As they build tunnel systems inside the wood, it becomes more expansive, and the moisture damage becomes more apparent. The wood swells, thus causing them to be stuck, squeaky, and discolored.
2. Sunken Walls or Damaged Paint or Wallpaper
It is not only the wood that they like to chew on. If you notice bubbling wallpaper or paint and sagging and wet drywall, their presence probably caused these too. They do this while expanding their tunnel systems, also known as termite galleries. You might also find tiny pin holes that serve as their exit holes when they are done feeding on your walls’ cardboard, wallpaper, and wood panels.
Did you notice how forepersons knock on the walls when they do an inspection? They are looking for papery or hollow-sounding timber. Because termites feed on wood from the inside out, they leave a thin layer of timber or paint on the surface. Knocking or tapping on an area they have eaten away from will sound hollow.
3. Termite Swarmers and Their Discarded Wings
Swarmers can either be termites or flying ants. These two look similar. Termite swarmers have straight bodies and two evenly-sized pairs of wings. They are pale-colored and approximately ¼ to ½-inch long. On the other hand, flying ants have pinched waists and two unevenly-sized pairs of wings.
If you see termite swarmers inside your property, it is almost definite there is termite activity in or near your property. Similar to other insects, these wood-devouring pests have a caste system. Their roles consist of workers, soldiers, and swarmers. Termite swarmers or alates are the reproductive arms of their colony.
You’ve likely noticed termite swarmers in early spring. They are attracted to light and are inclined to fly around doors and windows. When they leave their colony, they are bound to find a mate. Then, they shed their wings and established new settlements.
4. Mud Tubes
Subterranean termites possess thin exoskeletons. Out in the open, they will most likely dry out quickly. A moist and humid environment is something they need to survive. That is why they build mud tubes. These tunnels allow them to travel safely from their colony to their food source.
Mud tubes appear like narrow veins along the sides of your home. They spring from the ground and run towards your property’s exposed wood. What do you do if you find mud tubes in your home? Break off a small portion of it. If you see live termites, you can confirm that you have an active termite infestation. Don’t be too sure if you don’t find live ones. You have to look again later if the tube gets repaired later.
5. Termite Droppings
Termite droppings, known as “frass,” are another warning sign of a termite infestation. Like any other living creature, after feeding, they digest what they ate and push it out of the colony to avoid buildup. However, subterranean termites utilize their droppings to build their mud tunnels. Dry wood termites usually produce wood shavings-like frass. It is less likely that you will find frass in Oklahoma City. They are primarily found in southern coastal states.
How to Prevent Termite Infestation
Termites gnaw on wood round the clock. If left untreated, they can reach your structural foundation and weaken it. Don’t let this happen. Watch out for the warning signs discussed above. To ensure your home is safe, have a regular inspection by pest control specialists. It is an excellent preventive measure for your home.
Since pests can bring about costly damages to your home or a myriad of diseases to your family, ensure that you are not allowing any infestation to start in your place. If you are located in Oklahoma City, OK, Harmony Pest Solutions can inspect your property and provide the best solution for your pest problems.
For all your pest problems, choose Harmony Pest Solutions. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or inquiries regarding our company or services. Send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call us at (405) 760-7204 today! Our office address is 16307 Sonoma Park Drive, Suite #6 Edmond, OK 73013.