How do you battle a secretive and sneaky insect pest? It's a struggle; that's for sure. If you're wondering how to protect your property from termite damage, we have some suggestions to share. We hope these suggestions will help remove the struggle and give you an actionable plan to avoid termite damage. Our topics today are termite inspections, how you can find termites on your own, and what the benefits are to having a professional look for signs of termites in your yard. When you're done, you'll have better termite knowledge than you've ever had and you won't struggle so much with what to do about termites. If you don't want to know more about termites and would prefer to have your Sacramento Region pest control service provider handle this for you, navigate to our contact page for assistance. We're happy to help.

How Often Should You Have A Termite Inspection Performed?

Termites don't destroy your home overnight, and they don't do extensive damage in a few months, so you don't have to continually inspect your property for warning signs of active termites or termite damage. Our recommendation is to inspect your property once a year or have a licensed professional do this for you. Locating termites is difficult, and finding termite warning signs can also present a challenge. It's hard work. But, if you don't mind the work, here are a few ways you can detect termites on your property.

Look For Workers: Termite workers feed on materials that have cellulose. One of their favorite food sources is wood. Do you have wood in your yard? If so, you may find worker termites on or near those wood sources.

  • Pick up dead branches in your yard and examine the bottoms. If you see tiny, pale-colored insects, you've found termite workers.
  • Move stacked wood and examine underneath. You'll find workers on the wood or on the soil. But you won't see them for long. Termites hide from the light and also avoid being out in the air.
  • Dig around stumps, logs, wooden fence posts, and wood deck supports. You may see damage to the wood or find workers in the soil.
  • Pick up wood borders around landscaping, gardens, or flowerbeds. You may find termite workers crawling underneath. If you have wooden borders, consider replacing them with vinyl borders that look like real wood, but that don't attract termites to your home. 

It isn't easy to find workers because they are experts at hiding. You'll have to roll your sleeves up.

Look For Shelter Tubes: Subterranean termites create structures made of saliva and mud. Some call these mud tubes. They are typically the width of a pencil and look like wiggly rivers of mud. If worker termites create the tubes out in the open, you'll easily know that you have a termite infestation. But here are a few places they create shelter tubes that are hard to see.

  • Workers often create mud tubes in crawlspaces. If you have a crawlspace under your home, you should crawl under there with a flashlight and look for these tubes.
  • If a crawlspace has concrete piers, workers may create mud tubes inside the piers. Use a flashlight and a mirror to look down each pier to detect the tubes.
  • Worker termites crawl through the cracks of rocks, so they're drawn to crawl through the cracks in foundations. When this happens, you might see a small tube that goes from the soil into a crack.
  • Worker termites like areas of high humidity and will often create shelter tubes on foundations and exterior walls where vegetation hides their handiwork. Be sure to walk all the way around your home and look between landscaping and your exterior.

Look For Frass: Drywood termites create this material. It is mostly their droppings. But frass doesn't look like droppings. It looks more like wood pellets. Keep this in mind as you look for this material. Here are a few places to search first.

  • Frass is often found leaking out of gaps around door and window frames. Drywood termites target hardwood.
  • You may find frass clinging to walls or piled on floors in secluded areas of your home.
  • Inspect your baseboards for frass. These are another hardwood building material drywood termites target often.

Look For Swarmer Wings: One of the best indications of a termite infestation is the appearance of winged termites. These are about ⅜ of an inch long, are black or dark orange, and have long white wings. Unfortunately, swarms last for less than an hour. You may not see dozens of white-winged swarmers all grouped together. In fact, you may only see their shed wings. Inspect the ground, exterior structures, and spider webs for these equally sized wings.

Listen For Termites: Sometimes you can hear termites, but not for the reason you might think. Termites quietly feed on your wood and you won't hear them doing it. What you might hear are soldier termites banging their heads against tunnel walls when ants, or some other predators, enter their tunnels. The noise they make is described as a rustling or clicking sound.

Look For Wood Damage: Any time you see changes to the wood of your home, it is cause for concern. It doesn't matter what is damaging the wood; it is important to arrest the damage. We're not going to go into detail about what termite damage looks like. We'll just share one determining factor. When subterranean termites damage wood, most of the damage is on the inside, but when tunnel walls are breached, they use mud to seal the holes. Therefore, you may find mud on wood that has termites inside.

termite prevention

Why Annual Termite Inspections Are Worth It

Let's face it, who has time to do termite inspections? Life is busy. When you have a little time to yourself, the last thing you want to do is walk around your property and crawl into dirty places underneath structures to find the tiniest of warning signs. It's hard work. It is also work that is potentially fruitless. You can do all that work and not find warning signs, even though you have termites damaging your property. When termites aren't caught, they can do lots of damage, over time. 

If you want peace of mind, you need to take proactive steps to prevent termite damage. One way to do this is to have annual termite inspections performed by a licensed professional. A professional uses specialized knowledge and tools to uncover termite activity on your property. If termites are discovered, not only will you know about it, your pest professional will provide a solution to fix the problem. 

Have you thought about getting an annual inspection? Was cost a barrier? If so, consider getting year-round pest control through HomeShield Pest Control. We offer free annual termite inspections within our residential pest control service plans. While we're keeping ants, roaches, centipedes, spiders, silverfish, and many other common pests out of your Sacramento home, we'll also keep an eye out for active termites.

Pest control service is often seen as a way to prevent bugs and rodents from becoming a nuisance, but it is so much more. A year-round pest control service plan guards against pest-borne illness, such as Lyme disease and salmonellosis. It guards against stinging and biting insects. It prevents destructive pests from getting into your home and damaging your belongings. It keeps pantry pests out of your food. And, perhaps most of all, it guards your home from costly damage. When termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, wood-boring beetles, and many other wood-damaging pests enter your yard, you'll have the protection you need.

What Happens During A Termite Inspection?

A licensed pest control professional walks your property looking for signs of termite activity and conducive conditions. They may also look for signs of termites in your home if that is part of your service agreement. Most of the time, this isn't necessary.

During the inspection, a professional may use a moisture meter and other equipment to zero in on where termites are likely to be active. When termites or warning signs are found, the evidence is shared with you and treatment options are discussed.  

Professional Termite Inspections For Families In The Sacramento Region

Do you live in Sacramento? If so, you are in our service area. Contact HomeShield Pest Control for assistance in dealing with a termite infestation or to get year-round pest control service that includes annual termite inspections. We provide inspections as a way to offer a low cost alternative for homeowners who can't afford professional termite barrier treatments. Annual inspections are far better than doing nothing at all. If you're not proactive about termite damage prevention, the damage can sneak up on you, and homeowners' insurance rarely covers termite damage. We don't want you to find yourself struggling with the financial implications of a termite infestation. Connect with us today for year-round pest control with free annual termite inspections. It is the cost effective way to deal with termites in Sacramento!