Termites are one of the most destructive insect pests that can make their way into a home. Inspections allow you to catch an infestation early before the termites have time to do too much damage.
1. Frass Debris
Frass is the term for the mixture of droppings and wood dust that termites push out of their gallery tunnels in a wall. It tends to collect along baseboards near walls or other surfaces where termites are feeding. There may also be shed wings and even dead termites that have been pushed out of the tunnels, which will all be mixed in with the frass. Frass can be found indoors or outdoors.
2. Hollow Wood
The inspector will tap wood surfaces as they move in and around your home. They are listening closely for a hollow sound. If the wood sounds hollow where it should be solid, there is a good chance that it's the result of termite activity. The inspector may also use probes to determine if there is internal damage to the wood, depending on the location and the type of wood structure.
3. Damaged Wallboard
Although termites feed on wood and not plaster, the wallboard can suffer damage in relation to the termite destruction of the wood beneath it. This damage may show up as sunken spots, caused by the plaster sinking inward as it loses its wooden supports. The paint or surface plaster may also begin to flake off. Peeling plaster and paint is caused by the excess moisture that the wall may absorb as a void opens up behind it due to the wood support damage.
4. Foundation Tunnels
Although termites don't tunnel through or damage a concrete foundation, they do create transport tunnels on the foundation surface. The tunnels, also called mud tubes, allow the termites to move from the ground up into your home while still remaining undercover. Made of a mixture of soil and sawdust, the tubes are adhered to a foundation or brick surface. There are often multiple tunnels, and their presence means termites are moving into your building.
5. Exterior Nests
Most termite infestations begin in the yard. The termites may be feeding on something in the landscape, such as an old stump or wood chip mulch. If the exterior feeding site is near the home's foundation, then the termites may make the move to your house as their outside source of food is depleted. Your inspector will check for termite colonies in your landscaping so that they can be removed before they become indoor pests.
For more info about a termite inspection, contact a local company.