termite wood damage
Home Improvement

What Does Termite Wood Damage Look Like?

Picture this. Every night a stealthy intruder takes a drill and starts making tiny holes in the wood beams throughout your home. This intruder makes no noise and, unless you look very closely, leaves behind no trace.

You don’t notice anything until your wood deck collapses under its own weight. Ladies and gents, this horror story was brought to you courtesy of termite wood damage. These pests are great at concealing their existence from you until it’s too late.

If you’ve been asking, “how do you know if you have termites outside?” Then this article is for you. Continue reading to learn the signs of termites and what to do in the event of an infestation.

Early Warning Signs of Termites

The number one sign that your home is being eaten alive is the presence of mud tunnels on the exterior of your home or the foundation. These tunnels are brittle, brown-colored hydration and transportation systems that connect termites to their below-ground colonies and are made from mud, saliva, and waste. In addition, if you have a crawlspace under your house, you may find drop tubes, which serve the same purpose but are a light brown wood-pulp color and resemble stalagmites that you would find in a cave.

During mating season, between April and June, some types of termites (alates) develop wings to mate and form new colonies. But, they discard their no longer useful wings when this season is over. So, during this time, if you find piles of discarded wings around your windows, vents, or exterior light fixtures, chances are you’re dealing with an infestation.

The Difference Between Termite Wood Damage And Other Wood Blights

It’s easy to see damaged wood and come to the immediate conclusion of termites. However, termite wood damage leaves behind distinct clues to help you identify if termites are the culprit.

Wood rot is a blight that often gets confused with termite damage. This is because they both often leave behind splintering, decayed-looking wood. The only way to tell the difference is to feel it out.

Stick the end of a long screwdriver into the hole and wiggle it around. If the wood feels wet and soft, or if it comes out in large pieces, you are likely dealing with wood rot. But, if it’s dry and splintery, you may have termites on your hand.

If the source of the damage is still inconclusive, the last of the tell-tale signs of termite damage in wood is the presence of tunnels or small holes.

What to Do If You Find Signs of Termite Wood Damage

If you find evidence of termites (or other wood-boring pests), the first thing you should do is to seal off access to your home. For some, this may mean moving shrubbery or mulch away from your home’s foundation. If there are obvious entry points, such as cracks, gaps, or holes in your siding or foundation, seal those up straight away.

However, if you have a full-blown infestation on your hands, it’s better to leave this work to the professionals. For example, do you know how to tell old termite damage from new? Probably not.

On the other hand, a pest control company like this one, https://www.holmesutah.com/sandy/, has the education and tools necessary to identify the pest and locate the colony. They will also work to close off possible entry zones, terminate these insects, and educate you on preventing future infestations.

Stay Vigilant Against Termites

Searching for early signs of termites goes a long way in preventing future termite wood damage. So, the next time you’re in your yard, keep an eye out for bushes or greenery that could conceal potential pest entry and work on closing any gaps between the exterior and interior of your home. These steps will make your home an undesirable location for a colony.

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