termite damage inside gaitlinburg home

According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), Tennessee is located in TIP Zone #2, which is categorized as moderate to heavy. This means that the potential for termite damage in our great state is considered significant. The type of termites we battle most are called subterranean termites. These termites live in the soil but will crawl up into the wooden structures of homes and businesses, eating away at support beams and other areas, potentially causing extensive damage.

Since termites cost American home and business owners around $5 billion each year, it is crucial for you to be able to spot the signs of a termite infestation. We have put together the following list of things to look--and listen--for, so you can be aware of the danger before the damage becomes severe.

  • Termite swarmers: When a termite colony matures, male and female alates, or termite swarmers, will be produced. These winged termites will leave their colony in search of new areas in which to create new colonies. Eastern subterranean termites (the type we have here in TN) typically swarm during the day between February and May, and usually on a warm day after a rainfall. They may also swarm during the winter months inside a heated building. If you see a termite swarm within your home or business, this is a near-certain sign that you have at least one mature colony already thriving inside the walls of your building.

  • Termite swarmer discarded wings: Male and female swarmers don't hang around long outside of the shelter of the wood. After mating, they quickly shed their wings and disappear again. If you missed the swarm, you may find scattered swarmer wings near closed windows, doors, and other places. These wings will be white in color and uniform in size.

  • Mud tubes: Termites require moisture to survive, so they will build tubes from the soil up into the wood of a structure. This allows them to travel in safety, away from the drying effects of the sun and outside air. Look around your foundation walls, and inside your basement for these pencil-sized mud tubes. They can often be found in crawl spaces as well or in hard-to-get-at places such as underneath decks, porches, and exterior stair encasements. If you find mud tubes, break off a piece and check it a few days later to see if it has been repaired. If it has, then you have an active infestation.

  • Termite nests: Although Formosan subterranean termites in Tennessee are extremely rare, they have been found. This type of termite does not need to build mud tubes because they are able to exist entirely within the walls of a structure. If you find a nest in your attic that looks like packed mud that is the same color as the soil outside your home, you may be looking at a Formosan subterranean termite nest.

  • Warping floors, ceilings, or walls: If your floors begin to have a noticeable warp, this can be a sign of termite activity. Similarly, walls may begin to bulge or ceilings to sag. Termite feeding activity will eventually cause support beams to weaken, which will cause your house to warp and sag. This kind of damage can also cause windows to stop opening and closing properly, and doors to stick.

  • Termites: This "sign" will typically only be seen if you are undertaking a building project. If you rip out a wall and you see a mass of what looks like wiggling white worms with legs, you have termites!

  • Hollow sounding wood. If you tap on wooden supports or studs, and you hear a hollow sound, this may be an indication that you have termites eating tunnels inside.

  • Clicking noises inside walls: Termite workers will bang their heads against their tunnel walls in order to communicate with other termites. If you press your ear against an area where they are actively working, you may be able to hear this subtle sound.

These are signs to look for in the case of a subterranean termite infestation. It is important to note, however, that although another type of termite, drywood termites, are not established in Tennessee, it is possible for them to travel in wooden objects (such as furniture and wine crates). When this happens, they can be found infesting areas far away from their natural habitats. Whether you suspect subterranean termites or drywood termites, a licensed termite inspector will be able to definitively determine if you have an infestation, and what type it is. Reach out to Russell's Pest Control today and learn more about our termite control program.


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