How to Check for Termites by Yourself

By on July 14, 2017
Termites leave sometimes subtle clues of their existence. But when you know what you’re looking for, it isn’t very challenging to discover that you have an infestation. It is always a wise idea to call a pest control professional once you notice you may have a problem. That does not mean you should call them without some sign that your home has termites. It is always wise to check yourself before you spend the money.

Small Holes in the Wood

Contrary to popular belief, termites do not completely chew threw the wood. They leave a small layer of wood that eventually collapses. This hole is then covered with mud, feces, and saliva. Which makes for a comfortable tube for them to borrow down in.

Look for tube like holes in the wood. You may notice dirt-like material covering the holes. This can make them hard to spot. Which is why it may be a good idea to blast the wood with water so that you can uncover the holes. A hose or a bucket is enough to accomplish this.

flying termite on white background

Look for Swarmers

If you notice something that looks sort of like a group of flying ants, this may be a swarm of termites. Termites tend to leave their nest to reproduce. They often reproduce in swarms. These swarms are normally near light fixtures. The reproductive time for termites is usually in the Spring. However, these swarms can sometimes be spotted in autumn.

What Does a Termite Look Like?

termites appearance is usually white and wingless. These are the sterile working termites that are responsible for damaging your wood. They are not as easy to spot as the reproducing king and queen termites. This type of termite can be found above the wood. They are the flying type. The king and queen termites are 1/2 inches in length. They are usually brown or black in color.

How to Spot Damaged Wood

It is easy to see when a piece of wood has been compromised. It will have visible holes and a flimsy structure. If you want to be sure that this is due to a termite infection, gently tap the piece of wood with a hammer. If it makes a hollow sound, there is likely to be a termite infestation. If the wood sounds solid, you may not have a problem. However, it could still be infected with termites. The rate at which termites destroy the wood is relatively slow.

You can also locate termite damage by probing the wood with an ice pick or knife. This may be a more effective method of finding holes, as it is not always possible to blast the wood with water. The ice pick or knife should be able to break through the mud covering the hole so that the damage can be seen.

When it’s Time to Hire a Professional

Hiring a professional is necessary if you find that there is an infestation of termites in your home when you check for termites yourself. Even if you suspect that they may be there, it is best to have it checked out by the guys who know what they’re doing. They’ll be able to quote you a reasonable fee to have the termite infestation taken care of.