Curse Of The Termite Swarm

You may think you’re cursed when you see a termite swarm outside your house in early spring. Actually, you are very lucky. For many homeowners, it isn’t until they actually find the damage that they know they have termites.


For some homeowners, it may be when they are doing some inside maintenance or outside painting, before they find damaged wood caused by termites. Unfortunately, if termites have gone unnoticed for years, the damage could be extensive and can cost you thousands of dollars in home repairs and thousands more in extermination fees. 


If you find the termite swarm inside or outside your home, don’t just kill termites and then call it quits. On a warm spring day, you may see termites swarm around the outside of your home. This could mean your home is already infested or it could mean that swarmers are out house shopping and they are taking a look at yours. To know for sure, you will have to either inspect the house yourself or call a termite specialist to do the inspection for you. If termites are swarming inside your home, then most likely you have a termite problem.


How do I inspect my home for termites?

The first thing you must know is that there are probably areas inside or around your home that you cannot inspect. It may be impossible to get into areas such as tight crawl spaces, beneath decks that are close to the ground, and in tight attic spaces. Sometimes, it just isn’t physically possible for you or a termite swarm inspector to get into these areas.


Start on the outside at your foundation. Look for termite mud tubes. The mud tubes are the avenues the termites use to leave the soil and travel to the wood of your home. The mud tubes protect the termites from the elements and from predators. A dirt dobber or mud dobber (wasp) nest is similar to a termite tube, but mud dobbers leave an exit hole in the tube to fly out and the tube is usually shorter in length. A termite mud tube will appear sealed at both ends, will go from ground to wood, and are usually longer than a mud dobber’s nest. 


If you find a termite swarm tube, do not destroy it. You want to know where the infestation enters your home and what wood may be damaged, so the wood can be replaced and the area can be properly treated. Whether you decide to treat the home or hire a professional, the tubes will point you in the right direction, because the termites actually enter the wood from the tubes. If you hire a professional, he or she can tell a lot about your infestation by the number of tubes and where they are located. So do not remove them until it is time to treat the home. In the meantime, note where you found the tubes, and keep looking for more evidence.


You may also find small stacks of dirt on walls or wood while searching for termites. This can be from the termites breaking through the wall and pushing out the debris. The small tube-like piles of dirt are often found inside, on walls and in corners.


Check the wood molding around doors and windows by tapping lightly with the handle of a screwdriver. You will notice while tapping that if the wood is damaged by either water or termites, it will have a hallow sound. You may even make a dent in the wood though you applied no more force than before.  If this happens, peal away the paint just a bit and see if you find termites.


Seeing a termite swarm in early spring, isn’t a curse, it’s actually a blessing. The swarm should get you motivated to go searching for signs of termites. And once you know you have a termite problem, you can do something about it.


If you have a termite swarm nesting in or around your home, think Pest Control Products Online.

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