What are the signs of termites?
Signs of termites in your home
- Soft or hollow timber – usually door frames or skirting boards
- Mudding coming out of some timber or a mud lead coming up a stump
- Hearing a funny noise from the wall
- A door falls off or a ceiling sags
Mudding of a termite trail
Termites always want to operate in a dark, warm and protected environment. If they are exposed to the sun or outside air, they will quickly dehydrate and die in a matter of hours. Also, if exposed in the open, defenseless worker termites are easy prey for Black Ants and other predators.
If they need to bridge out of the ground into your home, the worker termites with building a tube – mud lead by combining their saliva and soil to form a paste that dries to hardness like plaster.
Soft or hollow timber
This is the most common way homeowners find evidence of live termites in their homes. Most of the door & window frames, along with skirting boards, are made from soft pine timber. These timbers are normally sourced first as they are highly desirable for termites. Which is actually good in some ways as the termites make themselves quickly evident.
Termites will eat the timber right up to the paint, always leaving a very thin layer between them and the outside world.
How you can tell? Tap your fingers along where you suspect there is termite activity. If it sounds or feels hollow, use a sharp Stanley knife and carefully cut a slit to pry open to see if there are any termites. If you see something that you suspect could be termites, immediately seal the opened area with tape.
Termite soldiers make a knocking noise by hitting their heads against timber when they are alarmed. It’s like a drumbeat to evacuate. You’ll hear a cascade of tapping if you disturb their workings.
On a very quiet night, you might be able to hear the soft gnawing sounds the worker termites make as they scrape and eat the timber with their powerful mandibles (jaws). With the help of special enzymes in their digestive system, they can convert the timber to palatable sugars.
Termite damage of fungal rot?
Normally termites are only in their subterranean tunnels under the ground. But from November to March, it is common to find the reproductive termites taking to flight, especially in South East Queensland. The humidity is very attractive (indeed necessary) to them.
At this time of year, they leave the nests (trees, tree stumps, bushland, even your home) to fly and begin new colonies. This is what they look like (although they can vary somewhat in colour).
Ok, You’re pretty sure you have Termites.
What should you do now?
Don’t disturb them! Don’t be tempted to reach for a can of bug spray and become the exterminator. If you alarm them, by instinct, they’ll flee back to their nest until they feel it’s safe to come back. This means when you call a professional Termite Technician, (and you should) they don’t have the opportunity to identify the type of termite and might not be able to detect them in other areas in your home.
Think you have termites now?
It’s time to get the experts in. You really need the full picture of the extent of the infestation and what are the best treatment options. Our Technicians are fully equipped with Thermal cameras, Moisture meters, and other useful detection devices. Check the below Inspection Video to understand where and how we check your home.