Termite infestation starts in the spring when winged termites swarm and look for a new home to start a colony. When they find a place to call home, their wings drop off and they begin to dig in the ground. From this new location they routinely burrow into the structure of your house to eat the wood. Here are some telltale signs that you are hosting termites:
1. Hollow or Damaged Wood
Termites eat wood from the inside to the outside. If you knock on wood and it sounds hollow, you may have termites. As termites hollow out wood you may see holes in plaster or drywall; these have dirt around the edges. The wood is weakened and may appear sunken or rippled. You will also notice termite droppings along the foundation that have been pushed out of the holes; droppings look like dark powder.
2. Winged Termites
If you catch sight of a termite swarm, or just see shed wings lying around near your house, you may have termites. Winged termites are attracted to light so you may see them near light fixtures or on window screens.
3. Dirt Tubes
Termites build dirt tubes along the foundation of a building as a conduit from their underground nests to the wood they eat inside the structure. If you see these tubes along the sides of foundation walls, you have termites. Destroying the tubes will not get rid of them.
If you notice any of these signs, or have any other reason to suspect you have a termite infestation, have a professional come to your home and give you a definitive answer. Termites can feed undetected in your home for years, so an annual inspection is the best way to prevent damage from these pests. Visit this website to learn more about termite control in Raleigh.