There are several types of termites residing in the United States, including subterranean termites, drywood termites, Formosan termites and dampwood termites. While certain types are more prevalent in some regions than others, there are termites everywhere. The most common type of termite affecting buildings and homes across the country are subterranean termites, a type of termite that burrows under the ground and can survive just about anywhere. These pests are highly destructive! That's why it's imperative to have a building inspection performed before you purchase or sell property. A building inspector will look for the following signs of termite infestation.
Different types of termites leave different signs laying about indicating their presence. Drywood termites leave behind piles of wood-colored droppings called frass. Essentially, frass is termite excrement. Since termites eat wood, their droppings appear much like wood shavings. During their reproductive stage, termites have wings and can fly. However, they eventually discard their wings and become earthbound once again, leaving behind wings wherever they may fall.
As mentioned, termites have wings and can fly while they're reproducing. Reproductive activity often leads to swarms or groups of winged termites concentrated in one area. For most species of termites, swarming occurs about twice a year, during the spring and fall. It can be difficult to spot swarms, though, since the activity is very brief and usually occurs in the morning or afternoon.
Subterranean termites love to eat wood, and they create tunnels that form a distinct pattern on all types of wood. Since termites destroy wood from the inside out, it can be difficult to spot initial signs of activity, which is why it's so important to have a professional termite inspection performed. Once the signs of infestation become very visible, much damage has occurred beneath the surface.
Termites build mud tubes or tunnels that run from their home to their food source. If your building is their food source, you may see mud tubes on your foundation or the exterior of your home. They also build exploratory tubes that seem to lead to nowhere. These tubes can begin in the soil or on the wood of your home.
Since they are so destructive, termites are not welcome anywhere. Fortunately, you can treat your building and get rid of them, but you must catch the problem before too much damage is done. If you're purchasing a new building or suspect that you have a termite infestation, contact an inspector at http://www.homeinspectionassoc-ma.com today.