When a home or business owner begins to see tunnels in the wood around their property or on their buildings, it can be a bad sign. If a person sees tunnels, notices new structural weaknesses in their buildings, or starts to see bugs around wooden structures, it’s time to schedule a termite inspection. A termite inspection is carried out by a pest control professional, who helps determine whether or not a property has a new infestation. Almost all of the states from the United States have termites, with only Alaska being excluded from the menace. Termites cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage each year to commercial and residential properties and can mean a huge investment for a home or business. A termite inspection can either help clear a person’s mind, or it will be the first step to remove an infestation before it worsens.
Professionals will check multiple aspects of a home or business during a termite inspection. One of the first indications of an infestation is the presence of termite swarmers, or a winged variant of termites which emerge during certain times to form their own colonies. People don’t typically see workers or soldiers, so the swarmers are a huge clue that there is a major colony lurking in the wood. Another common sign is wood damage. Because termites like to eat the inside of wood, most home and business owners will not see the damage. A trained professional, however, can usually tap the wood and identify a hollow sound which indicates that the pests have been developing a colony out of site.
There are two other major clues during a termite inspection. The first is the presence of mud tubes. Termites create mud tubes out of dirt and wood shavings to protect themselves when they need to travel from one location to another. There are three different types of tubes: a working tube, and exploratory tube, and a drop tube. The working tube is used by worker termites to protect them while they gather resources. The exploratory tube was developed by termites who went looking for new resources, while a drop tube lets termites move materials. During a termite inspection, a pest controller can find these tubes to help them determine where a colony is located and how developed it has become.
The second clue during a termite inspection is the presence of mud around construction joints or on the surface of wooden structures. Sometimes, termites are vigorous in their activities and can thoroughly destroy the interior of a wooden beam or plank. When this happens, their tunnels can collapse. To protect their colony, worker termites will use mud to repair the damage, so they can continue to live in a home or business. During an inspection, a professional will be able to tell if the mud on a building is just a regular splatter, or if it was placed there deliberately by a termite colony.
Termites remain one of the most dangerous pests for a property owner to encounter. Thankfully, they leave some obvious indications of their presence if a person knows where to look. Home and business owners might be able to detect some of these signs, but a professional pest controller can perform a thorough termite inspection to determine if the property has a problem. To prevent thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to a structure, it’s best to have an inspection done immediately, so termites can be handled efficiently for everyone’s safety.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!