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Signs Of Subterranean Termites

They may not be as repulsive as roaches as frightening as spiders or as unsettling as rats, but when it comes to damage to your home, termites take the cake.  These tiny pests will move into your home completely unnoticed and set to work devouring any wood in sight.  Most people are aware of the problems associated with termites but don’t actually know how to recognize signs of these pests.  Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite in the United States and are found in every state but Alaska.  These pests feed on wood and replace what they consume with mud.  They are especially attracted to damaged and damp wood.

Subterranean termites usually swarm in the fall and spring, which is when they often leave you clues of their arrival.  This is the time when they come out of their colony and mate and spread around to create new colonies. When doing so, they shed their wings, providing you with evidence of their presence.  Sometimes the wings of termites and flying ants are confused.  A simple clue for distinguishing the two is the wing length. Both species have two sets of wings, but flying ants have wings of different length and termite wings are all the same length.

Another sign to look for is the small mud tubes that termites use to fill the wood.  Beyond just these tubes of mud, large amounts of accumulated dirt in corners of your home can tip you off to termites.  Peeling paint and indentions in the wood can be an indicator of termites as well.  However, this is often overlooked because these are common occurrences in a home, especially as it ages.  If you tap on wood in an area where you suspect there might be a problem and it feels hollow or even cracks, this is a very strong indicator of termites. They essentially eat your wood from the inside out, leaving it hollow and weak.

If you have even the slightest suspicion of termites, it is essential to contact a pest control expert.  If left unchecked you will end up with thousands of dollars in damage and a huge mess to clean up. As always, prevention is a much better solution, so check back next week for information on how to prevent termites.

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