You'll seldom see a subterranean termite walking around in plain view. This is because termites prefer to remain in the humid confines of their mud tunnels — or within the wood they are devouring. Detecting their presence then can be a challenge, especially if you live in a busy household. Termites leave little evidence as they gnaw their way through a house.
However, if you know what to look out for, you can use your senses to detect termites before they spread throughout your home.
Listen for the Chewing
When there are no visible signs of a termite infestation, try listening. If the termites are close by and your home is quiet, you might be able to hear them munching away at the wood in your home. The sound of a few thousand termites devouring a piece of wood is akin to the sound that Rice Krispies make when you pour milk in with them.
Place your ear against the area where you suspect the termites to be, and listen out for a crackling, popping sound. If you hear that, you may have found the invading termites.
Look for Mud Tunnels and Exit Holes
Termites must travel via their humid mud tunnels; otherwise, they could dehydrate and die. If you see mud tubes snaking along a wall or surface, you likely have a termite problem. Break one of the tunnels open to see if the tunnel is active. You should be able to see the tiny, white termites rushing to escape if you have an active infestation.
Sniff the Air for the Scent of Mould or Mildew
If the area you suspect the termites to be in smells mouldy, like rotting wood, you either have a leak, a termite problem or both. Termites are attracted to moist wood—in other words, rotting wood. So, if there are no other signs of them around, this smell could indicate their presence.
Feel the Walls for Sagging or Indentations
Termites generally don't chew through the surface of the wood they are eating. Instead they follow the grain of the wood below the surface. That means you might not be able to look at a wooden surface and tell if there are termites inside it or not. So, even if a surface looks firm and flat, place your hand on it and apply a little pressure just to make sure. If the surface sags, you have termites.
Are you unsure if you have a termite issue in your home, even after using the above techniques? Then you need a professional termite inspector to inspect your home. Don't waste any more time. Call a termite inspection company today to begin your fight against invading termites.