Termites in your Saratoga County home can cause extensive damage that will cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage over time. The unfortunate thing about termites is that they can silently do damage to your home for a very long time without being discovered, creating extensive damage in the meantime. That’s why it’s so important to know how to look for termites. Today, we’re going to discuss how to recognize signs of termite activity so that you can seek professional help before its too late.
What Does a Termite Look Like?
Termites measure between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch long, with white to light brown coloring. Their bodies are soft, and they have straight antennae.
Swarmers or alates are winged workers that go out to find mates to create new colonies. These termites are usually lighter in color unless they are swarming, then they will appear slightly darker. If you happen to see a termite swarm, you must contact a professional immediately as this is a sign of a well-developed termite colony.
How Do You Spot a Termite Infestation?
Termites remain hidden in your walls and are difficult to spot without an understanding of termite behavior. Here are some signs that will help you recognize termite activity in your Saratoga County home:
- Headbanging. You can hear it behind the walls. These are the termite soldiers who make noise when they feel the colony is threatened.
- Swarmers. These are flying termites that, as mentioned above, are out looking for mates to start new colonies. When swarmers are present it is often referred to as termite season, but remember, termites are always present, even when swarmers aren’t. They feed 24/7, chewing through the wood in your home at the rate of about a foot of 2×4 plywood every six months.
- White ants are not ants at all. There are no white ants. Ants and termites look very similar, but if you see what you believe to be white ants, you’re looking at a termite and an indication that you have an infestation.
- Hollow walls. Termites tunnel into wood, hollowing it out. Papery or hollow-sounding wood is a sign of termite infestation.
- Wood tunneling. Termites tunnel into wood. Some termites feed on wood, others simply use it to build their colonies. Another sign of termite infestation is a pile of powdered wood around window sills and baseboards.
- Frass, or termite droppings. Piles of termite feces resembling salt and pepper around the baseboards of your home is another sign of termites. Subterranean termites use their feces to build their nests. Drywood termites do not, so they will push it out of the openings as they tunnel, making it easy for you to spot.
How To Reduce the Risk Of Termites In Your Saratoga Home
Though termite activity may seem inevitable, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep them away from your Saratoga County home.
- Control moisture levels in your home. Termites need moisture to thrive and work their way through moist wood easily. Keep moisture levels down by fixing leaky pipes, keeping standing water away from the outside of the home, and by checking the hoses on AC units.
- Trim back trees that overhang your home. Termites can infest trees and make their way to your home using the branches as a bridge.
- Eliminate any moist wood near your home. It’s a good idea to keep firewood at least twenty feet from your home.
- Repair shingles that may be rotting and keep gutters clean.
- Keep an 18-inch gap between soil and the wooden areas of your home.
- Be sure to divert water away from your home.
- Replace the weather stripping around your home and keep the foundation in good repair.
Seek Professional Help
The professionals at Old School Pest Control can help you identify a termite problem in your Saratoga County home and we can help you eliminate it. Contact us today if you are worried about termite activity or suspect you have a developed colony in your home. We offer fast service, a high level of customer care, and the best solutions for combating termites in your home.