Signs you have termites & how to terminate them

For a microscopic insect, termites sure do a lot of damage. Termites cause millions of dollars in property damages each year. The vast majority of homeowners do not even realise they have a termite infestation. The best way to fight termites is to prevent them from intruding on your home. Commitment to prevention and a professional touch goes a long way. Read on to learn all about the signs of termites. Explore termite extermination and how a pest control company can save you thousands through prevention.

What are the signs of termites?

The first step in the battle against termites is a thorough inspection. You may be wondering what to look for if you have termites. While a professional pest control company is best suited for an inspection, some common signs are to look for. Continue reading for a breakdown of the common signs of termites:

Walls clicking

If you listen closely, you can often hear the sounds of a termite infestation. Worker termites are noisy insects. You can actually hear them crunching down on the wood. You may also hear clicking noises from the wall. This is due to soldier termites that are communicating with their colony. The soldier termites bang their heads against the wood as a sign of distress.

Wing remnants

Another sign of a termite infestation is discarded wings. You can find these on a window sill or any other area around the perimeter of your home. Flying termites are often referred to as Swarmers or Alates. They leave the nest to start a new colony, possibly inside your home. Their wings are discarded after they identify a mating partner.

Inspect the exterior

You may find termite damage on the outside of your home with a thorough inspection. For example, it is common for door trim to be eaten, especially near the ground. Look at areas around your house that have mulch or soft soil. If you dig six inches into the ground, it is not uncommon to see crawling termites. They are attracted to the wood chips contained within the mulch. Mud tubes are another thing to look for. They are often found along the foundation or wooden joists. These tubes are constructed by the termites to create a passage between the exterior and interior of your home.

Soft walls

This is a sign that occurs after the termites have done considerable damage inside the home. It starts with seeing an area of your drywall that looks different. Perhaps the paint is slightly discoloured or looks wavy. You go over to take a closer look, and the spot is soft. This is because pests have eaten through the framing materials or drywall. There may be nothing left behind it but the paint. The issue may be severe enough that the damaged area is paper-thin.

Structural issues

At its most destructive point, a termite infestation is causing serious structural issues with your home. Wooden structures are potentially hollowed out. You may knock on a wooden beam and quickly recognise it is hollow. In some cases, the floors start sagging. This occurs when the wooden framing materials can no longer support the weight of the floor.

How to terminate termites?

Now that you know how to spot termites, it is time to exterminate them. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for termites. You cannot run to the store and purchase an over-the-counter product to cure your termite issue. This is because clear evidence of termites likely means a widespread infestation to other hidden areas of your home. In the next section, we will cover how a pest control company is likely to treat your home.

Termite inspection

The first step in the termination process is a thorough termite inspection. While you may discover termite signs, a professional inspection is necessary to determine the appropriate treatment. Experts agree that termite inspections are required regularly to prevent an infestation. The rule of thumb is to schedule a termite inspection at least once every year whilst in some areas homes considered high risk it is recommended to have an inspection carried out every 6 months.

Treatment options

Termite chemical barriers are a common householder’s and Commercial properties choice of termite treatment. Termite chemicals are often referred to as termiticides and are applied as a liquid solution to the soil and injected into the concrete areas around the property. This forms a perimeter barrier of protection against termites.  For pre-construction termite control or prevention, the pest control company may install a physical barrier which is a material impregnated with termiticide. There is also a Termite Baiting / Monitoring System in which termite bait stations are inserted into the ground around the perimeter of the home. These bait stations are then monitored for signs of termites and become a baiting station for the termites to feed on, eliminating the colony. If the infestation is extensive, you may need a home contractor to perform repairs. Termite-infested wood is a structural risk and needs to be addressed. It is possible that you need to replace the flooring, wood framing, and more due to a termite infestation.

Is termite extermination a DIY project?

The answer to this question is mostly no. While you now have a basic understanding of what to look for, a professional will inspect and assess the property and implement the best termite treatment or prevention service for your property.  Pest control companies are also licensed and insured to carry out these works. They also have the correct tools and equipment for these works to ensure that the treatment installed adheres to the Australian Standards. Having years of experience, Pest control companies know exactly where and what to look for when it comes to termites. Often, termites are discovered in difficult-to-access areas that only an expert knows to look in. Furthermore, they have appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure they are safe during the extermination process, especially when working with chemicals.

When should you hire a pest control company?

If you see any evidence of termites, it is time to contact a professional pest control company. There is no time to waste as it is possible that the termites caused extensive property damage. After an inspection, a recommendation for treatment may follow. This includes chemical barriers or termite baits. Annual checkups are also recommended as an industry standard.

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
Chris is the Managing Director of Sydney-based pest control business Forensic Pest Management Services. Having been in the industry for well over 20 years, Chris is well respected for his expertise in the commercial property sector.
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