If you've never come into contact with a termite, you might not even be sure what they look like. Consider yourself luck. If you keep reading this blog, you'll end up learning a lot about termites. For instance, did you know termites never sleep? They are always working around-the-clock, eating wood 24/7. Did you also know termites can actually grow wings? It’s true. “Swarming” termites grow wings when they set up a new nest, then get rid of them right after.
One thing you should know for sure is whether or not inspecting a house for termites is something you can do on your own. Here are some reasons why this job is best left to the professionals.
Professionals know what to look for
One of the main issues with performing your own home inspection is the fact you won’t recognize all of the different signs of termites. These little insects don’t like to be out in the open, preferring to stay hidden within your walls and the lumber inside those walls. Because of this, you often have to rely on circumstantial evidence of their presence instead of actually spotting a group of termites.
Here are some of the most obvious signs of termites:
- Piles of discarded wings: Remember that swarming we just talked about? Well, once the termites are done swarming, they’ll usually discard their wings in a large pile. If you come across one of these mounds of wings, there’s a termite nest nearby.
- Mud tubes: Here’s a rather gross fact I’ve picked up – termites use mud tubes to travel safely from the work site to the nest (like their own personal subway system), but mud isn’t the only ingredient of these tubes. Termites will use a combination of soil and wood fragments to construct the tube, and then seal it all up with saliva and anal secretions. Yuck.
- Hollow wood: If you suspect termites might already be in the home, you can check pieces of wood by knocking on them with your fist. If the wood sounds hollow, termites may have already gotten inside and begun to consume it.