If we were ranking pests by their resourcefulness and resilience, termites would definitely be near the top and ants would obviously be near the bottom: they make no effort to hide themselves, and you can find a huge number of them just by leaving an unwrapped candy bar on the kitchen table. Rodents and cockroaches would be higher up, since they at least try to hide. But termites spend the vast majority of their time out of sight, and you might not ever spot a live termite inside your home – even if there are thousands of them chewing away at your home as we speak.
Are you worried about the extent of a termite infestation in your home?
Let’s discuss how you can try to estimate its severity.
Have You Seen a Termite?
This is one of the clearest signs that a termite problem has grown out of control. If you see a termite actually within a living area of your home, understand that the termite is quite lost. And in order for a termite to mistakenly end up inside the home, there are likely tons throughout the entire structure.
Spend Some Time Inside the Walls
If you have access to a crawlspace, attic or basement, you should venture into these spaces to look for signs of termites. You may not run into the little critters themselves, but you can definitely see their handiwork. Knock on pieces of wood and listen for those that sound hollow – if you find such pieces, termites could have already hollowed out the insides. You should also check areas that are damp, such as spots that house leaky pipes.
Look For the Other Warning Signs
Another smart idea is to check for telltale signs of termite infestations, such as piles of discarded wings. When termites establish a new nest, they sprout wings and “swarm.” If you see wings near your home, termites have probably set up shop nearby. You should also look for mud tubes, which look exactly as the name suggests. These tubes will normally be found on exterior walls or on the outside of your foundation.
In the End, Professionals Must Make the Call
Despite your best amateur pest inspection, it’s almost impossible to determine the full extent of a termite problem on your own. If you want to be safe, contact a professional pest control company so they can perform a full inspection. Some companies may perform a cursory inspection for free, and provide you with an estimate.