By the time homeowners detect termites within their home, it is usually too late to prevent costly damage. The damage has likely already occurred. But because termites are tiny and they work discreetly, no matter how much damage they do cause, you might never realize they have invaded.
Your best defence against termites is prevention. But what if termites have invaded the homes and properties of your neighbours? Is it possible to see termites as they invade your property?
Termites Invade From Underground
The worst type of termite is the subterranean termite. This is not only because this species has a voracious appetite, but it is also invisible — most of the time. Since subterranean termites die when exposed to sunlight, they don't travel in the same way other insects, such as ants and cockroaches do. Instead, termites travel underground.
How do they know that your home might be a potentially delicious target? Termites can sense changes in the temperature of the soil, brought about by moisture and rotting wood. If, for example, your sprinklers consistently spray the wooden siding of your home, nearby termites will sense this and make a beeline for your home.
But you won't see them invading because termites invade homes via foundation cracks, utility line openings, and wooden structures in contact with the soil, such as decking and fence posts.
Mud Tunnels Are the Only Clue to Invasion
If you suspect that termites are on the move in your area, but you can't see any signs of them, you need to sweep your property and look for termites mud tubes. Termites construct their mud tubes from wood, soil, and saliva. These tubes allow termites to exit the safety of the soil as they bridge open space to reach nearby wooden structures or items.
Where should you look for these mud tubes? Check in the crawl spaces under your house first as termites invade from the soil. If you see mud tunnels that exit the soil and make their way to a wooden beam or opening, you have a termite problem.
You should also check the foundation of your home on all sides, as well as the siding. And, even subterranean termites can reach your attic via very long mud tubes if conditions are ideal for them to thrive there. As such, make sure you check your attic too.
If you see mud tunnels, don't break them. Call a termite control service and have the professionals deal with the matter.