Signs of Termites in Maryland and Delaware
On many occasions we come in contact with home owners that swear they do not have a termite issue because they “know what to look for.” We hear “I look for mud tubes in my crawl space every time I am down there.”
Termites are artful in nature so their presence may not be revealed to a home owner until costly damage has been done. In the spring when the conditions are right we often get service requests for flying ants only to identify them as termite swarmers. Termite swarms are often a home owner’s first visible sign that they are in need of a termite inspection to evaluate the extent of a termite infestation. Termite swarms usually occur during the day.
Contrary to some bug guys or termite exterminators, not all termite swarms are an indication that you have a termite infestation within the structure. In many cases we find that the termite swarm has originated from an outdoor termite nest located in the yard and away from structure. However since termite swarmers or winged termites are attracted to light, evidence of broken termite wings around windows and doors are a good sign that the swarm has emerged from within the structure. A word of caution, to the untrained eye a “flying ant” looks much like a swarmer termite. Unfortunately customers have experienced bad or immoral bug guys or termite exterminators misidentify due to lack of knowledge or with mal-intent.
A more obvious sign of a termite infestation are termite mud or exploratory tubes. Termites create earth colored mud tubes for several reasons. First, termites build mud or exploratory tubes as means of travel in search for more food. A second function of the termite mud is to keep the termite’s exoskeleton moist. Last the termite mud or shelter tube is a layer of defense, keeping predators like ants at bay.
Required Termite Shield:
In Maryland and Delaware many of the building codes require a “termite shield” as a means to stop termites from entering a structure. The “termite shield” that many building codes require is nothing more than a piece of 8 inch or other wide aluminum flashing. Termites will utilize their termite exploritory tube making skills to bridge right over the aluminum “termite shield” and into the structure thus rendering it useless. In addition to the “termite shield” many are under the assumption that a pressure treated sill plate is enough of a deterrent to stop a termite infestation, conversely termites will create a mud tunnel up over and around pressure treated lumber to get to a desired wood source.
Hidden Termite Activity:
Termites do not have as great of a defense skill set as ants and other pests but they are cleaver in the concealment. More often than not termites will infest a home or building and go unnoticed for several years while causing severe damage. It is important to understand that termites may excavate wooded members so that only a very thin layer of wood is left on the surface hiding thousands of dollars in damage within the structure. In addition, home owners will not notice a termite mud tube or exploratory shelter tube in their garage or crawlspace until the termite infestation has impacted the operations of a door or window.
Activ Pest Solutions values your home as much as you do. It is our policy to provide each customer with a Free On-site Thorough Inspection by a Full Time Certified Pest Control Professional Technician. We will complete a thorough inspection of all the accessible visible areas of the home or structure, determine whether or not termites are actually present, note any conducive conditions that may contribute to an termite infestation, gather structural awareness or construction variable data and provide you with a solution to treat and eliminate your home of termites .