How to Spot a Termite Infestation Early

Did you know most insurance companies consider termite damage an avoidable expense and will not cover the damage? Approximately 600,000 US families fall prey to termite damage every year, spending an estimated $5 billion on the damages these pests create. 

Don’t be a victim of this costly expense — be proactive. 

The question then becomes, “How do you prevent termites?” When it comes to termite damage, the best home insurance is a good pest protection plan!

Treat Termites Proactively

Subterranean termite colonies can vary in size — from only two insects to two million pests. Termites live in rather complex colonies, comprised of several forms of termites. These intricate swarms include larvae, workers, soldiers, nymphs, and reproductives.

Pro Tip: Learn everything you need to know about subterranean termites at our learning center.

How to Check for Termites

Performing a DIY termite check can help you identify signs of termite activity early.

1. Start with a Visual Termite Inspection

Examine the exterior of your home, including the walls, roof, and these commonly damaged locations:

  • Nearby trees and landscaping
  • Around the foundation of your home
  • Woodpiles near your home
  • Mulch beds
  • Basement

Please note that the termite species common in Eastern Massachusetts do not build above-ground mounds. If you find mounds around your home, you may have an ant problem, but this does not necessitate termites’ presence. 

Termites’ presence may present itself as any of the following:

Mud tubes: These are long, pencil-sized, veinlike tunnels. Insects use these like roads, traveling from the main colony to your property. They can often be found around the foundation of your come.

Discarded wings: Swarmers, the reproductive type of termites, are attracted to light and have a short lifespan. For these reasons, look for discarded termite wings around doors and windows.

Dying trees or plants: If you have trees on your property that are decaying, they are at risk of becoming the host for a termite colony. Take care of sick trees, so they do not create pest problems.

2. Inspect Wooden Structures for Termite Damage

Wooden areas are likely to have termite damage due to mud tunnel accessibility. Check areas where wood touches the ground, such as basements, crawl spaces, and decks for these signs of termite damage:

  • Crumbling wood
  • Sawdust near the base of the wood
  • Gaps between wooden boards
  • Sagging wood

Probe the wood: As mud tubes are often within walls and under houses, they may not be visible at first glance. Use a screwdriver or other tool to lightly tap wooden surfaces. Termites often hollow out wood, so if knocking creates a hollow sound or penetrates the wood, there may be mud tunnels in your home.

3. Check for Moisture Issues

Termites are attracted to damp environments. Water leaks, excessive moisture, and areas with poor ventilation all increase the risk of infestation. If you find moisture in your home during your termite check, resolve the problem areas quickly to minimize your risk.

Prevent Termite Problems with F&W Pest Control

Don’t let termites feast on your home or peace of mind. Proactive termite control is possible! While performing a termite check yourself is helpful, it is not as comprehensive as a professional inspection and cannot treat the issue fully should you find signs of damage. We are currently offering $75 off initial termite treatments.

Redeem Offer

One of our pest management professionals will assess the extent of the issue and determine whether or not you need pest control services to get rid of troublesome pests. We have offices in Wrentham, MA, Framingham, MA, Peabody, MA, and Kingston, MA, but serve all of eastern Massachusetts. If we confirm that there are termites, we will recommend what termite treatment will be most effective for your property.

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