As a rule of thumb: never wait too long to get this kind of inspection done. The moment you suspect that termites share your living place or working space with you, bring in termite inspectors immediately. Otherwise, your residential or commercial property could be sustaining massive damage before you finally get rid of such persistent pests.
The same mindset has to be adopted when you’re in the process of purchasing a residential or commercial asset. Any time is a good time to get a termite inspection done. You can’t be too complacent even if there isn’t any visible evidence of infestation at first glance. After all, you’re dealing with discreet intruders. While termites can invade your home virtually undetected, experienced inspectors fortunately know when they’re coming in uninvited.
Knowing the Enemy
Most structures with wooden components deal with drywood termites and—as their name suggests—they live in dry wood. What many property owners and investors don’t know is that they could already be chomping down the foundation, window/door frames, and other wooden fixtures (e.g. furniture, skirting boards, etc.) inside the building or a prospective structure right in this very moment!
We can’t emphasise this enough: you have to be on the lookout for these menaces or your current investment could be at risk. If you’ve heard of reports of termites being sighted in and around the neighbourhood, don’t leave anything to chance and get property inspections done regularly. Spotting these invaders halfway through their diabolical plan of taking over your building is critical in keeping termite damage to a minimum.
Now, when do you need to get termite inspections done?
Among the first signs of a termite infestation is the presence of sudden appearance of swarmers or flying termites. They’re usually the females and males that have left the main nest to find a mate and establish a new colony somewhere besides their current home. The problem begins when they end up making a colony near or in your building. Needless to say, you have to be ready to spring into action once you spot these relatively conspicuous insects.
When looking out for these winged termites, know that they love to swarm after rain (at certain times of the year). If you haven’t spotted them swarming somewhere, look for discarded wings. These critters lose their wings shortly after finding a mate and that should be enough proof that your worst nightmare is about to begin.
A pair that successfully mates often crawls into a suitable nesting site where they seal themselves and start a new colony, which can keep growing for over ten years if left untreated.
In typical fashion, drywood termites consume wood from the inside out. They’ll usually leave a thin veneer of timber or just the paint on the wood they’re currently eating.
Knock or tap on the wooden area they’ve eaten off and it’ll sound hollow. That’s mostly because part (or all) of the timber inside may have already been consumed. Have a vacuum cleaner run against an infested skirting board or press a finger into a door frame (that’s half-eaten) and both will simply go through.
It sounds alarming but this is often how property owners discover that they’re dealing with an extensive termite infestation.
Faint Noise Inside Woodwork
Put your ear close to a wood that you suspect is infested and you’ll hear termites munching away! By some uncanny design, worker termites eat noisily. Another sign of their presence is a quiet clicking sound coming from within your walls. This is the work of soldier termites banging their heads against the wood to signal danger to other termites.
As it turns out, termites use vibrations to communicate and any faint vibration on any woodwork around the home should prompt you to schedule a termite inspection ASAP.
White Ants Sighting
It’s unfortunate but some people will mistake termites for white ants. An easy mistake to make since both share similarity in shape, size, and behaviour. Nevertheless, keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a “white ant”.
Have you recently spotted an insect that looks like a white ant around your house? This is a clear sign that you have a termite problem on hand.
Seemingly immovable doors and windows
Although these two could be taken as a consequence of damp and hot weather, warped doors and stiff windows could also be taken as a sign of termite infestation. That’s because the moisture these pests produce while eating and tunnelling through door and window frames often causes warping, making it harder for you to open the affected windows and doors.
Mounds of frass
One dead giveaway when your place is riddled with drywood termites is the presence of frass or termite droppings. For the most part, skilled inspectors look for this when suspecting your place is dealing with a massive infestation.
Unlike their subterranean cousins, drywood termites don’t use their feces to build tunnels. Instead, they often push those out of the holes near the entrances to their nest. Those dark, powdery substances and black spots you found in a certain spot in the house? They could mean that a termite colony may be nearby.
Take action before it’s too late
Never put off termite inspection when you suspect that you may be dealing with an infestation somewhere in your property. Leaving the problem as is even for a week can already cost you hundreds of dollars (or more) on pertinent repairs.
Although it’s tempting to grab chemical treatments sold off home improvement stores or experiment on DIY solutions that you find online, don’t. For one, you can’t be sure of their efficacy and, at the same time, you’d run the risk of driving termites deeper into wooden structures and hard-to-find nooks.
Because this particular pest can rapidly destroy houses or business premises, your best bet is to act on the problem as soon as you observe any of the signs we’ve mentioned. Sadly, your problem doesn’t end with a timely inspection and extermination.
To keep you from dealing with the same problem repeatedly, schedule regular inspection and get preventative measures in place. Both should give you the peace of mind knowing that your house isn’t getting destroyed from the inside right under your nose.