The earliest termite specimen dates back to the Cretaceous period, which was between 45.5 and 66 million years ago.
That is to say, these pests are resilient. And while they serve an important purpose in nature, breaking down dead trees and returning the nutrients to the soil, they’re not so helpful when they infest our homes.
If you have a termite pest infestation, you need to take care of it immediately. But how can you know for sure? Check out these 4 signs of termite infestation.
1. Mud Tubes
Mud tubes are tunnels made with saliva and, sometimes, droppings. Termites use these tunnels for travel. They look like narrow veins that run from the ground to areas with exposed wood.
You’ll know you have an active infestation if you break off a piece of the mud tube and find live termites inside. If you don’t see any, be sure to come back and check the place where the tube was broken. If it’s been repaired, you have a termite pest infestation to take care of.
2. Swarms and Wings
A termite colony consists of workers, soldiers, and swarmers. Swarmers are adult termites that have two pairs of large wings.
Swarmers fly in groups and it’s possible to spot them near or in your home. Don’t mistake them for flying ants because this is a serious indication of pest infestation.
Swarmers also tend to shed their wings. Finding discarded wings in or around the home may be another indication you need pest removal.
3. Stuck Windows or Doors
The wood on the jams of windows and doors, or even the windows and doors themselves, are wood that’s easy to access. For that reason, termites tend to target these areas first.
As they burrow into doors and windows, they cause them to warp. That makes them more difficult to open and close and may be one of the first signs of a termite infestation.
Termite droppings are usually only found in termite infestations in the southern coastal states of the US. That’s because only the termite species here eat through wood and push their droppings outside of the colony. These droppings are also known as frass and will be visible in your home if you have a pest infestation.
If you have termites in the northern US, you’re unlikely to find droppings. These species of termites use their droppings to build mud tunnels.
Take Care of Your Pest Infestation and Your Home
A pest infestation can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. In some cases, a termite infestation can become so bad that part of the home requires rebuilding. For these reasons, it’s essential that you call for pest removal upon the first signs of a termite infestation.
Once you’ve cleared your home, you can start caring for it. For more on how to take care of the inside of your home, check out our Interiors section.