A woman landed her dream home in a ‘grass is always greener,’ part of town. She had her eye on it for a while, but never expected to live there, much less within her budget.
Not a month into owning the home she noticed strange trails that ran through her floor like live veins, going seemingly deeper. Upon inspection the wood shattered, completely hollow. Deep trails filled with pus-colored termites exposed themselves for a moment, before escaping deeper into the structure of her home.
The Damage Termites Can Do
The average cost of termites per home is $8,000 in damages. That’s because the homeowners that take the initiative to take care of the problem resolve it under $2,000. The homeowners that take their time, take their losses at $16,000 when the situation is already far out of control.
Because a termite infestation is only truly noticeable once a number has been done on your home, I’ve listed each stage along with the sign it correlates with. Don’t skip a single one.
Calloused Holes in Your Trees
Many times the first place termites invade is not your home, but the trees in the yard. And it can be hard to tell because unlike ants, termites don’t scurry around the roots. They infest the tree, eating it from the inside out.
The telltale signs are ‘portholes,’ in the bark. While they look like little barnacles, they’re actually calluses your tree builds up as termites dig into it. Catching this sign early on can save you a ton of trouble.
Dirt Trails Around My Home
You might think that spraying infested areas with pesticide will kill your problems, but the reality is termites don’t live in your home. Just as you don’t live in your favorite restaurant, termites only enter your house for the feast, leaving behind signs of entry.
These points of entry, affectionately called ‘mud tubes,’ are how termites get in and get out of your house without fuss. In reality, termites reside deep within the moist soil around your home, and they utilize these network of tunnels to survive. Finding these on the outside of your home can hint at a prolonged termite infestation, so it’s wise to deal with this soon after discovery.
Dirt / Frass Piles by Home Structure
These piles look like small ramps of dry dirt caked around your structure, possibly under corners, possibly under stairwells. As termites consume wood they discharge pellets called ‘frass.’ It’s easy to miss this sign because if you aren’t looking for it, which is why by the time homeowners wisen up termite damage might already be far in. By this point, looking for someone to repair termite damage is something to consider.
Finding Insect Wings Throughout Your Home
Spring is when termites expand their infestation through flight. Breeding termites are granted wings to scour the rest of your home looking for a mate, to breed, settle, and devour untouched areas. The wings they fly on are purely for the sake of this ritual, and are discarded by the insects once it's over.
Finding these wings is really not a good sign. An expanding colony means that the problem has been there for a while. If you see these, serious action is vital on your end.
Hollow Sounding Wood
Signs of termites can take ages to surface because the damage they cause happens deep within your home.
Termites prefer the seclusion of your home’s deep structure which can lead to them devouring the very frames that hold your house together. What gets eaten before anything else, is on the inside, hence why you end up with a hollow sound.
Paint Damage and Cracking
When termites devour the inside of a wooden structure it warps. As it succumbs to the damage paint cracks where it used to lay firm, or blisters in a way it never did.
Notice how it is only until the last stage of infestation that you as a homeowner can visibly see termite damage on a true surface level inside of your home. Once your paint is affected by these insects, there’s been a long history of damage to answer for.
How to Handle a Termite Infestation
The first thing homeowners make a mistake on is trying to solve the issue on their own. Termites are survivors without any respect for an amateur's best efforts of reclaiming their home. Get an exterminator. They’re talk you through exactly what needs to be done, and best of all, actually end the infestation when the job is over. But that’s only one part.
General Contractors are eager to take advantage of terrified homeowners afraid of their home collapsing after a battle with termites. Don’t play into it.
Novel Remodeling knows how often Los Angeles has to deal with termite damage. It’s the sort of thing that follows a home around, and if found out, can absolutely demolish the value of a house. Contact Novel Remodeling to repair termite damage done to your home.