Orange County is home to many termites species. These species primarily fall into three categories: Drywood, dampwood, and subterranean termites. There is variation in these types, and what warning signs you'll see is dependent on which termite type you're dealing with. We're not going to spend too much time clarifying which termites leave the following signs. It's enough to know that seeing any of these signs is an indication that you have a termite infestation.
Termites that get into hardwood and feed on window frames, door frames, baseboards, and hardwood floors produce a material called frass. This is the fecal matter of termites and it can take on the coloration of the wood the termites are eating. This may cause you to think that frass is sawdust. But whether there is sawdust leaking out of the cracks in your home, or termite droppings, it's time to contact a licensed pest management professional.
There is never a good reason for your home to have material like this piled on your floor, clinging to your walls, or pouring out of a gap in your home. If you've found a material you think may be frass but you want to know for sure, feel free to send us a picture. We can have one of our on-staff termite control experts take a look.
Termites that live in the ground and have a preference for rotting wood require high levels of moisture in order to survive. When these termites come above the ground, they need to create above-ground tunnels called shelter tubes. They may also be referred to as mud tubes because they're made of a muddy substance that is a mixture of soil and saliva.
You're most likely to find shelter tubes in sheltered areas. This is because worker termites establish these tubes on surfaces that are in dark damp locations such as underneath a deck or exterior stairs.
A shelter tube might look like one wiggly line the width of a pencil. The one tube might branch off into several tubes as it climbs a foundation wall. This can make it look like veins, chain lighting, or a river flowing upward. If there are many tubes in one area, they can look like a column, stalactites, or stalagmites.
When a termite colony matures, it begins to create winged male and female reproductives. These are often called swarmers because they gather into a swarm during the mating process. Termite swarms can be very noticeable when these termites appear indoors, but most of the time they don't. Swarmers usually emerge outdoors because they're attracted to light.
A swarmer is a black or dark orange insect with long white wings that stack on top of each other. It is about ⅜ of an inch long and the tips of its wings are rounded. The wings cover the body of the termite so it is difficult to see that they hang quite a bit past the abdomen. Keep in mind that seeing termites in real life is a lot different than looking at them on the internet. The images you see on the internet are mostly magnified. A ⅜-inch insect isn't much to look at.
Termite swarms don't last for more than 30 minutes. If a swarm gathers and dissipates, you may still be able to tell that it occurred. Swarmers shed their wings during the mating process. Look for these wings in dark sheltered locations and in spiderwebs on your property.
While certain species can create damage that you can see, such as holes in window and door frames, most of the damage termites do is on the inside of wood. The most destructive termite species can destroy your home without causing any visible damage. It is possible to tell if wood is being damaged by termites. Take a hammer and tap on wood timbers. If a wood timber sounds hollow, you may want to cut into it and find out if there are termite tunnels inside.
Uncovering Worker Termites
Though termite workers hide from view, it is possible to find them in your yard if there is wood on the ground. Lift wood and search for ⅛-inch pale-colored insects crawling around. Termite workers resemble ants that have fat waists.
The Best Way To Detect Termites
Termite detection can be tricky. Licensed termite control professionals have tools and techniques for finding termites hidden in structures. If you live in Orange County, reach out to HomeShield Pest Control for assistance. Don't take any chances with your equity. We offer termite inspections and treatment services for Orange County property owners. We'll guide you toward the right solution for your specific needs and help you get your termite control neatly into your budget. Contact us today. We're here to help.