Termite season is here and many homeowners are worried about a possible termite invasion. When termites invade a home, it is bad news as they will gladly chew through the home’s wooden materials. Due to our climate here in California, we are home to a number of different species of termites. Some of the most common species are drywood and subterranean termites. Both species will give some signs of their presence as long as the homeowner knows what to look for. Animal Pest Management Services, Inc will share some classic signs of termites and when to seek professional help to reclaim your home.
Termite Swarmers & Discarded Wings
Termites swarm outside and even inside the home at times. Termite swarmers are the reproductive members of the colony. Swarmers are both male and female termites that are winged. After mating, the male swarmers will die, leaving the females to begin their own future colony alone. After the queen has mated and has found a suitable place to start her colony, she will remove her wings and discard them. If you see piles of little tear drop shaped wings, this is a sign that a female termite is in or near your home. It is most common to find these discarded wings on windowsills or around the foundation of homes. Swarmers will leave their home nest to reproduce. This can even happen twice a year. In California swarmers will leave the nest in spring and again in fall. During this season you will see swarmers outside their nest. Swarmers are often mistaken as winged ants. They are all black and have a similar appearance to ants. Swarmers most often come out at dusk. However, drywood termite swarmers come out during the early morning hours as well as in the afternoon.
Mud Tubes & Frass Droppings
Subterranean termites are very sensitive to heat and sunlight. To protect them from the sun when they forage, subterranean termites build mud tubes that act as tunnels or highway systems for termite colonies. Subterranean termites use a combination of dirt and saliva to make these mud tubes. You can see these mud tubes coming from the ground and up walls and other structures. Seeing these mud tubes climbing up walls or along the sides of the home and other surfaces looking like veins is a common sign of termite activity. Frass, which are termite droppings, can be seen in small piles that look like piles of sand or dirt. This is another common sign of termites. These piles are often seen near small holes which are the termite’s exit points. If there is any sign of termite frass, this is a strong indicator that there is an infestation.
Termite damage is fairly easy to identify. Termites will hollow out the wood leaving a thin layer of dust on the surface for protection. You can easily push on the wood with a butter knife. If the knife pushes through then termites have been hard at work. Drywood termites will eat all of the wood where you can see visible damage to wooden surfaces.
Termite Inspections, Control, Removal & More in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
If you have signs of termite and require professional termite inspection and treatment, contact Animal Pest Management Services, Inc today.