termite mud tube in Broken Arrow OK |  Arrow Exterminators, Inc

Termites are notoriously difficult to detect without the help of an exterminator. Since they primarily stay inside of the wood they consume, an infestation could be lingering for years before a homeowner notices. 

Annual inspections are a great way to discover termite activity, but it’s important to catch the problem as early on as possible, which is why you should always keep an eye out for signs that they’re nearby. If you want to learn how to detect termites early, read our top tips below. 

How to Detect Termite Damage

The main concern with termites is the structural damage they can cause. In serious infestations, wood damage can be visible. When termites feed on the cellulose inside of wood, the wood source will eventually become brittle and hollow, which may lead to damage such as:

  • Unexplained cracks on internal walls, ceiling beams, or rafters
  • Sagging areas on the floor or weak floorboards
  • Bubbling, warping, or cracking paint
  • Broken roof tiles
  • Doors and windows that get stuck

This type of damage might seem pretty severe, but in the beginning of an infestation, it may be harder to notice than you think. Let’s take a closer look at the signs of termites and how you can spot them quickly.

Listen for Hollow-Sounding Wood

Damage to wood is an obvious sign that termites are present. Often it looks like water damage with a darkening of the wood, but sometimes you can actually see the termite’s bore holes. They create a honeycomb pattern when they burrow into wood, significantly weakening it. 

Termites thrive in environments that are dark and humid, so they’ll start eating the interior of wooden structures, not the surface. Sometimes the exterior wood will look pristine, but when it’s tapped with a hammer or hard object and a dull, thudding, hollow sound is heard, then it could be a sign of termite damage and that wood should be thoroughly examined.

Check Your Walls and Foundation

If you find tiny holes with small piles of sawdust around your walls or foundation, you could be dealing with termites. Often these holes are no bigger than the size of pencil lead, so you’ll have to look closely. 

Paint on the walls that looks damaged could also be a sign of termites, though bubbling and crackling paint could indicate other problems like moisture issues. That said, since termites require moisture to survive, an infestation could cause the moisture issues, so it’s always worth looking into any damaged paint that you find. 

Don’t Ignore Broken Doors and Windows

If your door suddenly stops fitting properly in its frame or your windows start getting stuck, it may not seem like that big of a deal. However, this could actually be a sign that termites are eating the wood near the sill. After hollowing out the wood, the doors and windows may not fit properly inside the frame, causing them to catch each time you try to use them.

Other Signs of Termites in Your House

Damage isn’t the only way to find termites. In fact, waiting until you can actually see the termite damage means the infestation has probably spread throughout your home and will be even harder to get rid of. When it comes to other signs of termites near your property, there are two main things to look for: mud tubes and swarmers. 

What Are Termite Mud Tubes?

Mud tubes are perhaps the biggest sign that you’ve got a termite problem. Most termite mud tubes have roughly the same circumference as a pencil, but the length can vary drastically. There are three types of mud tubes that termites often use:

  • Working Tubes: These create a path between a termite colony in the soil and a source of wood, and they’re usually used to safely carry food to the colony.
  • Exploratory Tube: This type of termite tube extends from the soil but doesn’t connect to any food source, so they’re used while the insects try to find new feeding areas.
  • Drop Tube: This type of termite tube creates a path from a wood source back to the soil, allowing them to continue searching for food or building their tunnels. 

Most termite mud tubes are found along a home foundation, crawl space, or basement—pretty much any place where the soil meets wood. It’s also possible that the tubes have been abandoned; to find out, create a small break in the middle of the tube with a stick and see if the colony rebuilds it within a few days. 

Termite Swarmers in Spring

When the weather begins to warm in spring and heavy rains have passed, it is not uncommon for termites to begin swarming. During this process, reproductive termites are attempting to mate and establish new colonies, further infesting your home and property. This is one of the easiest signs of termites for homeowners to observe.

During a swarming period, termites can produce thousands of swarmers. Most often, eastern subterranean termites will begin appearing during the day making them highly visible. Once the termite swarmer has successfully mated, it will shed its wings.

Homeowners may find these wings in areas of their home like window sills. If you do find signs of termite swarmers within your home, it may indicate an established colony has already infested. In the event you see these signs of termites, it is important to contact a pest control provider immediately.

What to Do If You Have Termites

Think you’ve come across signs of termites in your home? Overdue on your annual termite inspection and want peace of mind? No matter what, Arrow Exterminators, Inc. is prepared to protect your space. We’ve served Broken Arrow OK for over 70 years, and we will work with you to be on the lookout for early signs of termites by inspecting your home annually. To learn more about our termite control treatments, call us today!

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How to Detect Termites Early Serving Broken Arrow OK & Oklahoma City OK

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