Termites are a lot like a surprise birthday party thrown by your twin sister where everything seems fine right up till the moment when thirty-seven jarring faces jump out from a dark room revealing to you your unknown underlying heart condition. I'm not exactly sure why I threw in twin sister, but you get the idea. Finding termites can be a startling, and nerve-wracking, experience.
There are three main species of termites in the United States: subterranean, Formosan subterranean, and dry wood. For residents of Westchester County NY, however, you only need to worry about the first. Here are some things to look for, to see if your home is susceptible to termites.
Termites require a moist environment to live in. If they can't find it in your home, they make it for themselves, by building tunnels of mud made from cellulose, soil, and feces. These tunnels provide termites with the ecosystem needed to live and thrive. Finding mud tunnels on your walls is a sure sign that you have termites, but they can be hard to detect, because they can be hidden, and are sometimes thinner than a #2 pencil. Look for these tunnels on concrete, pipes, porcelain, and other hard surfaces, inside and outside of your home.
Subterranean termites prefer spring growth wood to more dense hardwood. Knowing this will help you to determine if you have dry rot, water damage, or termites.
Termites are much harder to detect when outside of your home, but they do prefer some areas to others. You are more likely to find them under mulch, as the main ingredient in mulch is wood. And, mulch provides a protective cover, keeping the undersoil nice and moist for termites to live.
Deadwood is also inviting to termites. If you have firewood keep it at least 20 feet from your exterior wall. And, get rid of any moist or rotting wood on your property, like a fallen tree, an old sump, and sticks. If a colony grows large enough in your yard, they will release swarmers that can threaten your home.
Termites can hide undetected inside your home, and on your property for years. This can lead to thousands of dollars in unneeded damage. Even equipped with the tips above termites can avoid your detection. Have a certified professional evaluate your property for signs of a termite colony. Only then will you be sure that your home is safe. It is never fun to be surprised by termite damage. Get your home protected today.