Termites, known as “silent destroyers” for their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected, cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. every year – damage that is often not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Homes with moisture damage from rain, snow and ice are prime targets for termites in search of structures in which to establish new colonies.
To help consumers protect their homes, here are the following top signs of a termite infestation:
SWARMERS: Swarmers, or “alates” are young female and winged termites that often invade homes in the springtime. They especially seek out buildings that have sustained damage from severe winter weather. Once swarmers have determined your home to be a good ﬁt, it’s likely that the rest of the termite colony will follow.
DISCARDED WINGS: The discarded wings of swarmers can often be found near windowsills and doors and are often the ﬁrst and only outwardly visible sign of a termite problem.
WOOD DAMAGE: Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, so wood that sounds hollow when tapped often signiﬁes a termite infestation. Homeowners should also look for rotting wood and cracked or bubbling paint, as these are signs of moisture buildup that could either mean water damage or termites.
MUD TUBES: Subterranean termites, the most destructive termite species, build mud tubes to provide moisture while they travel between their colony and a food source. Mud tubes are most often found near the home’s foundation.