While termites may not immediately give you dengue or hantavirus like a mosquito or rat can, these pests can give you severe anguish, financially and emotionally. Left unchecked, a termite colony can render a house uninhabitable and make it worthwhile to have a termite inspection in San Diego. Catching a colony in or near your house may not even give you comfort, as a comprehensive inspection will need to be done to ensure that your house has not been compromised. Termite infestation is so prevalent that damage caused by these creatures in North America alone is estimated at almost 5 billions dollars annually.
Termites can be mistaken by non-experts for ants, as they look similar, with a size resembling large ants. Termites can also have wings, but these are shed after a while, as opposed to wings attached to flying ants which do not shed.
There are many signs you can watch out for to see if termites have begun to infest your house or surroundings. Even if you see just one of the following signs, take immediate corrective action to ensure that the infestation is stopped cold.
Signs that termites have begun to infest your house include:
- Mud tubes (looking akin to sand tunnels) that appear and progress along walls. Termites build these tubes as pathways to and from food sources. They need these tubes to retain their body moisture. If you see one of these tubes, break off a section and check if any termites come out. If none do, observe for a day or two if the tube gets repaired. If it does get repaired, then there is an active colony nearby.
- Termite pellets that appear beneath a seemingly small hole along a baseboard or non-concrete wall. Termite pellets resemble little grains of sand.
- As stated, termites have wings. Seeing wings on the floor is a sign that there is a colony in the area, and that the termites have begun reproducing.
- Packed earth in wooden foundations or joints. When you see this, there is a good chance that that member is already being eaten from the inside.
- Sounds in the walls. Not loud of course, but slight clicking sounds can reportedly be heard behind wood walls when termites are active.
- The presence of white ants. These are not ants, but rather termites that have left another nest, flown to your location, and have discarded their wings.
- Doors or windows that seem to have lost their proper fit or adjustment. While weather changes can also do this, doors or windows that become tight or loose are also a sign that the wooden framework they are in have changed shape.
- The most distressing sign that you have termites in your home is damaged wood. Signs include grooves in the wood, sagging floors, hollow-sounding wood, holes in wooden furniture, even peeling paint. At this point, you need to make an appointment with a pest controller to visit your house without delay. The question at this point is just how much damage termites have already done to your house.
When it comes to termites, it is best to engage the services of a qualified pest controller. Even slight termite damage can devalue your home. Even damage it to the point that it is unsellable. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy a home, then spending for an inspection would be money well spent. You may not be getting value for your money, or there may be repairs that need to be done so that the house will keep its value.