Termites are small whitish insects many people mistakenly describe as “white ants .” Various species of ants exhibit many different colorsnonetheless, none are white. Actually, termites are a really close relative of the other wonderful family visitor: the cockroach. The word “termite” is derived from the Latin word “termes,” meaning “wood worm.” Termites voraciously consume plant cellulose such as wood and, if your house happens to be constructed of it, a termite infestation can cause major structural damage before you’re even aware of it. Termites reside inside of wood, so external signals often are delicate.
Examine woodwork in the interior of the house for signs of sawdust piles nearby that are waste ejected from the wood by termites. This might be an early indication of a severe infestation.
Examine windowsills and other exposed wood that seem to have darkened in color or are blistering. Attempt to puncture the wood at an unobtrusive place using a knife or screwdriver to see if the piece has started to be hollowed out or lost structural integrity.
Inspect leading wooden structural members of the house in the attic, crawlspace or any place else they are accessible. Harness the period of wood construction using a hammer, listening for a hollow noise or some other change in pitch that may suggest loss of inside fiber.
Walk around the exterior of the house and see the concrete basis between the dirt and the wooden siding or clapboards. Look for mud tubes, the small tunnel processes termites construct to shelter them as they move from underground into the wood frame of the house. The tunnels make it possible for termites to transit from point to point without being dried from exposure to the sun or wind.