Within the United States alone, there are approximately 4 billion termites. These small insects inhabit old houses, commercial buildings, and other structures in sufficient numbers that they can cause problems for homeowners and property owners. Termites thrive in warm, sheltered areas with plenty of wood to feed on. Once they establish an infestation within a structure, no amount of maintenance will reliably eliminate them.
Termite infested homes usually show signs of their presence before the homeowner is even aware of them. The most common signs include: Dark moist spots or streaks on walls or ceilings Droppings in locations that seem out of place Structural cracks around windows and doors Does your home have any of these signs? If so, you may have termite damage. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of termite damage, as well as the warning signs you should look out for to determine whether you have termites entering your home.
What causes termite damage?
Termites are small, wingless insects that feed on wood. They build their nests out of wood and soil, which they chew into tiny particles to form a paste. Their saliva is also acidic and contains bacteria-killing enzymes to digest the paste. Once the termite colony is established in a home or other building, no amount of maintenance will reliably eliminate them without professional assistance.
In order to establish an infestation, termites first use their antennae to sniff for food sources. This is followed by the wings flapping in a figure 8 pattern, which creates a wafting effect that helps the termites find their way down from high up places like rafters or eaves. The following are the most common signs of termite damage: Dark moist spots or streaks on walls or ceilings Droppings in locations that seem out of place Structural cracks around windows and doors
Termites eat wood
Termites are social insects that form colonies and feed on wood. These bugs inject saliva into the wood to dissolve the cellulose, then mix it with their own digestive enzymes to liquefy it for easier digestion. Termites can only eat living tissue, so they need a food source and shelter. They will attack any kind of structure made out of cellulose, such as trees, paper, or cotton.
In order to survive year-round, termites must have a steady supply of food. When they can’t find a suitable food source on the property they infest, they will search elsewhere in your neighborhood or city until they find something that will sustain them. If there is termite activity elsewhere in your community, you may be able to detect it by looking for dark moist trails on your home’s exterior walls or ceiling.
If you see any signs of termite damage at your home, contact an expert like Critter Control for safe removal services as soon as possible before the problem becomes worse.
Termites shelter in wood
Termites are not necessarily a problem that affects just one area of your home. In fact, termites can wreak havoc on your entire property by destroying the woodwork in multiple areas of your home. When it comes to termite damage, wherever you see dark, moist spots or streaks or droppings and structural cracks around windows and doors, you may be dealing with termites.
Some termite infestations start off small and gradually worsen over time. The signs of an established infestation will usually only be evident if you know what to look for and how to inspect for them.
They tunnel in soil and masonry
Termites typically live in the soil and wood where they are active. They live in the ground, but can sometimes build nests above ground. The insects primarily feed on cellulose materials such as wood, paper, insulation and plant material. Termites chew tunnels through these materials, which serve to move both the eggs and adults along with their food sources.
Termite damage is typically visible from the outside of a structure; however, it can also be found from inside (most notably, in areas where termites have infiltrated a wall). Here are some ways you can identify whether you have termite damage:
-Moisture is present on walls or ceilings
-Dark discolored spots or streaks on walls or ceilings
-Droppings in locations that seem out of place
-Cracks around windows and doors
They create structural damage too
If your home has signs of termite damage, the termites have likely already caused structural damage. Termites are attracted to wood and will tunnel under floors and walls to reach it. Once they get into these areas, they create large, irregular holes in the structure that can be difficult or impossible to patch. If you think your house might have this type of structural damage, don’t delay, contact an expert.
Termites are the most common of all insects in North America, and they are known to cause major structural damage. They can be identified by the presence of their frass, which is a powdery substance they expel through their mouthparts.