Unfortunately, Termites are usually very hard to see until they've had a significant impact on a structure. At this point, you will be able to easily penetrate affected surfaces, as it's not uncommon for Termites to devour wood right until they reach paint. If you do experience this, you should seek guidance from your preferred pest manager as soon as possible, especially if there has been no recorded Termite activity in that area of the house previously.
Before this happens though, there are a few ways to determine that Termites may be active in or around your home.
Mud Tunnels / Mud Leads
Tunnels made of mud positioned on the outside of house structures (brickwork, walls, concrete posts, concrete slabs and other dense structure materials) are a strong sign of your building being at risk of termite infestation. Termites travel through these mud tunnels when it is not easy for them to burrow through an object in search of food and water.
Look for little tunnels (called leads) made of mud on the outside of your house, particularly on top of brickwork, concrete or dense structural material.
This is another word for termite droppings, and little piles of these pellets, which can look a bit like sawdust on the floor, could be a sign of infestation. Drywood termites push the faecal pellets out of their nest and this will eventually make a visible pile at the point of the floor, window sill etc.
Termite nests that commonly look like growths on trees are referred to as Aborial nests. It is common for non-destructive species of Termites to build these, however there is always the risk that they are the type that feed on timber housing materials.
Generally, the first sign of infestation noticed by homeowners is the presence of swarming reproductives on window sill or near indoor light. Swarmers inside the house nearly always indicate an active infestation in the structure. The presence of swarmers outside is a natural phenomenon, but should warn that termites are near and possibly attacking a nearby building.
Another indication is the presence of wings, discarded by swarmers as a normal part of their behaviour, found near emergence sites, on window sills or in cobwebs. Infestations also can be detected by the presence of shelter tubes going up the sides of piers, utility entrances or foundation walls.
Wood damage is a definite indicator or termite infestation. Wood that yields a dull, thudding sound when struck by a screwdriver or hammer should be examined. The picture to left is damage caused by drywood termites.
The old fashioned method of locating termites is the careful probing of suspected areas with a sharp, pointed instrument such as a screwdriver will disclose termite galleries or damage. This is a slow and tedious method which also results in damage to building structure surface materials and subsequent repairs.
The Termite Detection Radar within the Termatrac T3i, sends a specially calibrated radar signal through the building structure avoiding the need to physically penetrate and create such damage. The Termite Detection Radar can precisely identify and confirm termite presence in timber, as well as locate nests, mud-leads, and entry points without the need to physically penetrate any building structure.
If you find any evidence you think may be the work of Termites, leave it alone and call a Pest Professional !
Do NOT try to kill them yourself with bug spray. You may kill the few hundred termites in view, but there can be up to a million more in the nest.
Contact your nearest Termatrac Certified Technician for the most reliable way to detect termites without the inconvenience of damaging your building structures and surfaces.
- Examine the foundation of the house, garage and other structures for shelter tubes coming from the soil.
- Pay particular attention to attached porches, connecting patios, sidewalks, areas near kitchens or bathrooms and narrowly confined or hard-to-see places.
- Check to soil moisture around or under the foundation to determine if faulty grade construction creates moist areas next to the structure.
- Check window and door frames and where utilities (air conditioning pipes, gas and electric services) enter the structure for termite infestation or wood decay.
- Observe rood eaves and guttering closely for defects that might cause leakage and eventual wood rot. Inspect behind closely planted, dense shrubbery or foliage.
- Note particularly any earth-to-wood contact such as fences, stairs carriages or trellises.
- Open and examine any exterior electrical meter or fuse boxes set into the walls, a common point for infestation.
- Carefully inspect wood materials next to swimming pools that be splashed frequently by water.
Where to check inside:
- Probe or carefully sound exterior porches, doors and window facings, baseboards, and hardwood flooring. Be careful not to deface finished wood when probing. The Termatrac T3i with the Termite Detection Radar will enable the identification and confirmation of termite presence without risk of defacing timber and other surface materials.
- Carefully examine any attached earth-filled porches.
- Examine all known or suspected joints, cracks or expansion joints in the foundation and unusual blistering in paint or wallboard surfaces. Discoloration or staining on walls or ceilings may indicate water leads that can decay wood and aid termite infestation. Especially inspect where plumbing or utility pipes enter the foundation or flooring.
- Check the floor covering for raised or split areas.
- Carefully examine the plumbing, particularly in bathrooms on slab construction. There should be access to the bath trap area. If none exists, build a removable plumbing hatch for periodic inspection.
- Examine the attic for shelter tubes, water leakage, wood rot or damaged wood.
- If the house is of pier and beam construction, thoroughly inspect the area between the floor and the underlying soil. Examine the inside of the beams, chimney bases, hearths or piers for shelter tubes. Crawl-space construction should have a minimum of 18-inch clearance between floor joists and the underlying soil, and at least 12 inches between floor beams and the soil.
- Look carefully are the top of the foundation wall where the floor and the wall intersect.
- Closely examine plumbing and utility lines passing through the floor of foundation walls.