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How Can I Tell If I Have Termites?

5 Ways To Know For Sure Your Home Does Or Doesn't Have Termites

Your home is more than 4 walls and a roof. Those walls hold memories.

Beyond the markings left on door frames that show the progress your children have made in their growth from tiny toddler to towering teen, those walls are a reminder of all that took place within them: birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, holidays, and the vast variety of activities that make life worth living--and more importantly, worth remembering. Those walls are for holding memories; that's why they should never hold termites.

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termite in a new jersey home

Termites eat wood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They don't stop for sleep and they don't stop for holidays. In the United States, each and every year, termites cost property owners billions of dollars in repair costs. For some homeowners, that termite damage is unrepairable. Here are 5 ways to know for sure your home doesn't have termites.

termite swarmers in a new jersey home

#1 Swarmers

Winged termites are not a species of termite; they are a cast of termite. In a termite colony, these are the reproductive males and females that are responsible for creating a new colony. They are the first and last sign you'll see that you have a termite problem.

Why do we say the first and last? These winged reproductives are only created after a colony has matured. If you are finding winged termites, there is a good chance that you already have a mature colony living inside the walls of your home. Where you find these swarmers and how many you find are indicators of whether or not they are the beginning of an infestation or one that has been going on silently for years.

How can you tell? If you find a few swarmers roaming around outside of your home, you could be okay. Swarms break up and termites will go off in pairs to start new colonies. Those might just be the kings and queens of a nest that has not yet begun. But, several dozen or more inside your home means your home is already infested.

Swarms happen quickly. Sometimes, the only sign that termites have visited your property, or that they are already living in it, is the shed wings they leave behind. These translucent white wings will often be found on inside window sills because swarmers are drawn to light.

termite mud tubes on a new jersey home

#2 Mud Tubes

The most destructive termites in the United States are subterranean termites. They are also the most common termite found in New Jersey. These termites make their colonies in the soil near manmade structures and build tubes to access the structure without being exposed to the drying effects of the sun. For creatures that require a lot of moisture, these tubes are essential. Finding them can help you uncover a termite infestation in your home.

These mud tubes will be found on exterior foundation walls, interior basement walls, and on walls leading all the way up to attic spaces. When searching for mud tubes, look behind shrubs, under decking, behind stairs, in basement rafters, and in the back of your closets.

subterranean termites in a new jersey home

#3 Termite Sounds

Since subterranean termites need moisture and don't like to be exposed to wind or the sun, they will live almost entirely inside the wood they are consuming. This makes a termite infestation hard to find. One way to uncover an infestation is with sound. Termites bang their heads on tunnel walls to communicate with one another. If you put your ear to a wall and hear clicking, you could have termites.

Another way to use sounds to uncover a termite infestation is by knocking on wood. These insects create tunneling inside wood. If the tunneling is substantial, the wood will have a hollow sound to it when you knock on it.

termite damaged wood in a bergen county home

#4 Wood Damage

This is the hardest way to detect subterranean termites. Since these insects live almost entirely inside the wood they are eating, you will not usually be able to determine whether or not your home is being infested by looking for wood damage. But, sometimes, when the thin veneer left on hollowed wood is broken, it will expose active worker termites underneath.

chemtec pest control termite inspector

#5 Certified Termite Inspection

The only way to know for sure whether or not your home has termites is to have a certified termite inspection done by a pest control company. If you live in New Jersey and need help protecting your property from these wood-destroying pests, drop us a line. At Chemtec, we use the most advanced termite control products from the most trusted brands in the industry, like Sentricon® and Termidor®, and combine them with over 80 years of experience. When you need to know for sure that your home, and your memories, are safe, you can trust Chemtec.

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