How to Look For Signs of Termites

Mud tubes are a common sign of subterranean termites in Georgia - Active Pest ControlTermites are often only discovered when the damage starts to appear, making them one of the most dangerous pest problems. In order to avoid the destruction associated with termite activity, it’s important to recognize the early signs of termites in your home. With termites at peak activity in the spring and summer, now is the time to ensure you are protected against an infestation! The termite experts at Active Pest Control are here to share their knowledge on the top signs of termites they see in Georgia homes year-round.

How to Tell if You Have Termites

If you notice any of the following signs of termites, it’s time to call a professional who can further investigate and determine the presence or absence of termites in your home. Here’s what to look for:

Swarming Termites

Every year, reproductive termites will leave their colony to mate and form new ones. Swarming happens when a mature termite colony releases a number of swarmers from their existing nest. Reproductive termites, also known as alates or swarmers, can often be mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants. Seeing winged termites in the spring months is a sign of termites spreading.

Piles of Termite Wings

After reproductive termites have swarmed and found a new location, they will literally twist their wings off to discard them. This is because, after flight, they will no longer need to fly. Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color. These wings can often be seen in piles, which is indicative of termites forming their new colony nearby.

Mud Tubes

Made from and used by subterranean termites, mud tubes are pencil-sized tunnels through which termites travel. True to their name, subterranean termites nest underground. In order to leave the nest and forage for food, they will build mud tubs out of their feces. This protects the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air. Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is likely the number one sign of termites.

Drywood Termite Frass

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites nest within wood. As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood. This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found. Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds, and can appear in piles. Seeing this sign of termites makes it important to call a professional for closer inspection.

Tight-Fitting Doors and Windows

Termite activity can result in damage to your property. One of the most common signs of termite infestations is noticing your windows and doors are sticking or appear more tight-fitting than usual. Subterranean termites output a lot of moisture with their eating and tunneling habits. When they target door or window frames, the wood there will warp and make them more difficult to open.

Damaged Wood

Termites are infamous for damaging wood. This can appear in several ways. Typically, termite damage can cause unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters. It can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood. Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards. In general, wood damage of any kind can be a major sign of a termite problem.

What to Do When You See Signs of Termites

Termite problems are no joke. They can cause a lot of damage on your home. This is why it is so important to work with a professional termite exterminator. At Active Pest Control, we will provide yearly inspections to catch early signs of termites. To learn more, contact our team today!

What Do Termite Holes Look Like?

What Do Termite Holes Look Like in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlIf you’ve found small, round holes in wood within or outside your home, you’re likely wondering what could have caused them. In many cases, this is a sign of drywood termite activity. When drywood termites swarm in the spring or summer, they will make their departure from their nests. In doing so, they create and tunnel through exit holes in the wood within which they were nesting. Termite exit holes can frequently be mistaken for holes left by other wood-destroying insects, making it important to learn what termite holes look like.

What Termites Leave Holes in Wood?

Most termite species swarm to form new colonies, but only one common termite is responsible for the hole-boring activity: drywood termites. Although subterranean termites swarm, they do not leave exit holes in the wood. This is because subterranean termites build nests underground and travel through mud tubes. These mud tubes also serve the purpose of being their exit from the nest. So, seeing termite holes indicates the active or previous presence of drywood termites in your property. Drywood termites are often found in wood above ground, such as attics, garages, and trees.

How to Identify Termite Holes

How do you know if the tiny holes were left by termites or not? It typically takes a professional’s expert eye to identify exit holes. However, it’s important to know the following about termite holes, also known as “kick-out holes”.

  • Termite exit holes are round and only about ⅛ of an inch (or smaller!).
  • Once the swarmer termites (called alates) leave the nest, the termite nymphs within the nest will use a paste made out of frass to plug the holes.
  • The plugging of the holes happens quickly, making it rare to see uncovered holes in the wood.
  • Wood that has been kicked out looks like tiny mustard seeds and can appear in a pile.

Which Insects Leave Holes in Wood?

Termite exit holes are often confused with holes made by other wood-destroying insects. Some of these insects include carpenter bees, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, bark beetles, and more. Each of these exhibit unique behaviors and have different wood preferences, making it difficult to know which wood-boring insect you’re dealing with. This is why it’s always important to contact your local pest control experts for help identifying termites or holes made by other pests in your home.

Termite Exit Hole Inspections in Atlanta

At Active Pest Control, we know that seeing holes in your wooden structures can be distressing. You can rest easy knowing that our expert termite exterminators will thoroughly inspect your property to seek out termite or other wood-destroying insect activity. Contact us today for help with identifying termite exit holes in your Atlanta GA property!

Termite Awareness Week

It’s officially Termite Awareness Week, and it’s more important than ever to know the facts. This week and all year long, the team at Active Pest Control aims to spread awareness about the extensive damage done by termites. In this article, we’ve provided you with a series of informational videos discussing the signs of termite activity, prevention tips, and how to protect your home from these wood-destroying insects. Keep reading to learn how to stay termite-free in Atlanta GA!

5 Signs of Termites

  1. Swarmers, which are winged termites that emerge in large groups and fly to their destination.
  2. Often the first visible sign of termites, wings are shed by swarmers and left in piles.
  3. Blistering wood damaged by termites can be rotten and hollow-sounding.
  4. Often confused with sawdust, termite droppings (frass) are wood-colored.
  5. Besides swarmers, mud tubes are the most common sign of subterranean termites.

How to Prevent Termites

There are several ways you can lessen the risk of getting a termite infestation. It’s important to keep firewood and any mulch at a distance from the foundation of your home. Similarly, always remove excess wood from your property, including construction lumber,  fallen trees, and stumps. In addition, be proactive about avoiding moisture-damaged wood by promptly repairing leaky faucets and poor drainage problems. Lastly, ensure you have a continuous termite monitoring, baiting, or protection plan in place from your termite exterminators!

Termite Protection & Treatment

Here at Active Pest Control, we provide our customers with the most effective, safest termite treatment options. Check out the video to see our preferred methods of preventing and controlling termites. If you’re unsure which termite control method will work best for you, we’d be happy to discuss your best options with you and customize a termite control plan!