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How Can I Identify Signs of Termites and Termite Damage?

Finding signs of termites around your home is not always that easy for most homeowners. Termites like to remain hidden away where they cannot be found. However, the spring and summer months are when several species of termites swarm, and this could alert you to a termite problem in or around your home.

When termites swarm, you will notice termites with wings flying around. Normally, there will be a large number of swarmers in a small area. They will be relatively small flying “bugs,” and you need to make sure to not confuse termites with flying ants. Ants also will have wings when they swarm in the spring and summer.

If possible, try to catch a few of the flying “bugs” and put them in a clear container with a lid. You want to look very closely at their body. Termites have two main body parts—their heads and their lower abdomen. Ants, on the other hand, will have three main body parts—their heads, a middle abdomen, and a rear abdomen.

Even if you do not notice swarms around your home, it does not mean termites are not present. There are other signs you should look for around your home, which include:

  • Small sets of discarded wings. The wings are very tiny and tend to look like fish scales.
  • Sections of mud-like tubes that extend from the ground. Subterranean termites live underground and will build protective tunnels to travel to the wood they eat. Check along the foundation of the home and garage, as well as your shed. If you have a wooden deck, look underneath it to see if you see any of these tubes.

Pinholes-in-wood

  • Pinholes in wood . When termites enter and exit wood, they will leave small pin-like holes. An infested piece of wood will have multiple holes in it.
  • Soft, hollow, and “squishy” wood. Press and knock on the wood. If it feels soft, hollow, or “squishy,” it could indicate the presence of termites. Remember to check hardwood flooring, wood paneling, and other wood around the home.
  • Bubbling paint,wallpaper , or raised sections in wood. If you notice the paint or wallpaper is bubbling, or even peeling, or a part of the drywall or wood is raised, it could indicate termite activity.

  • Small piles of “sawdust” in different areas of the home. Look inside cabinets, along baseboards, and on window sills. This “sawdust” is termite feces and indicates they are present in the home.

  • Parts of the ceiling are “sagging.” Get a ladder and check these areas to see if they are soft and hollow. If so, this could be from termites.

  • Damage to wooden counters and cabinets. If you discover damage to your counters and cabinets and notice any of the signs mentioned, you could have termites.

If you notice any these signs or discover what looks like termite damages in or around your home, or if you want to find out if termites are destroying your home, please call MightyMite Termite Services at 408.335.7053 today to schedule a detailed termite inspection!

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