Subterranean termites are the most expensive pests in the United States. They cost U.S. property owners billions of dollars each year. The reason they're so destructive is that they're incredibly sneaky. Subterranean termites live under the ground and tunnel for long distances in search of food. If they start to feed on your Nashville property, they're going to come up from the ground to do so, and they're going to do it quietly—well, most of the time. Here are three early warning signs Nashville termites might give you.
1. Mud Tubes
Termite workers avoid light at all costs. Subterranean termite workers hate light so much that hundreds of thousands of them can be inside the wood of your home without you knowing it. They stay out of sight. This aversion to light is one of the reasons they make mud tubes. A mud tube is a construction made from soil and saliva. It goes from the ground to a wood source that is above the ground. These tubes are basically above-ground tunnels. Since they're made of the soil found around your home, they may look like a natural phenomenon. If you see "mud" lines on your foundation walls, it is important that you recognize them for what they are. These tubes can have many appearances.
A mud tube may only be a line the size of a pencil.
Some mud tubes have the shape of a river, or you might see it as an upside-down chain lightning bolt.
Sometimes mud tubes are knitted together with several others and they can begin to form a much thicker-looking mass.
Termite workers tend to make mud tubes in dark, damp locations. Don't expect them to be in areas that are easy to see. You're likely to be disappointed. If you want to be sure that you don't have any mud tubes on your home, you'll need to get a little dirty; get into crawl spaces, slide under your deck, pull up some boards on an external structure, or even inspect concrete piers with a flashlight and a mirror. This process can be difficult or impossible, depending on the structure of your home.
If you see hundreds or thousands of white-winged, dark-colored insects crawling on your home, it is important that you recognize them as swarmers. But this is not an early sign. This is a sign that you have a mature infestation nearby that is at least three years old. An early sign would be to have one termite swarmer land on you while you're in your yard. This is because the whole swarm isn't going to come into your yard to nest. It will just be a couple of termite swarmers, or maybe a few couples.
Swarmer Identification: A swarmer is about 3/8 of an inch long. It is likely to be entirely black and it will have long white wings. Its wings will be longer than its body and rounded at the tips. These wings stack on top of each other. There will be no cleft between them.
Be aware that a swarmer isn't much to look at. It is easy to see one on your arm and just brush it away. Keep a watch for those white wings. While a termite swarmer is very tiny, its wings are quite noticeable.
3. Termite Activity
Subterranean termites are hard to detect, but there are specific ways you may be able to uncover termite worker activity. Here are some examples:
If you have boards in your yard, you may be able to turn them over and find termites between the boards and the soil.
If you have a fence with wooden posts in the ground, or wooden posts that support your back deck, you may see wood damage near the soil, especially if the soil is damp. Termite damage looks like trenches if they are on the surface of the wood.
If you have a stump, log, or a dying tree, you may be able to find termites inside. Break off a piece and look for tunneling or the presence of termite workers.
Signs of Termite Damage Around Nashville Properties
In addition to these telltale signs of termite activity, homeowners should also be aware of what termite damage looks like and where it is most likely to occur throughout their property. While discovering termites activity in your home is cause for alarm, the sooner you can identify the problem, the sooner you can take steps to eliminate it, so it pays to know the warning signs ahead of time so you can act immediately if you see any.
The following are common signs of termite damage in your home:
Discoloration or warping on drywall
Peeling paint on walls or ceilings
Floors that buckle or sway when walked upon
Swollen floors or ceilings
Loose tiles on the floor
Hollow noises when knocking on wood in the structure
Wooden windows or doors that stick, jam, or otherwise no longer open and close smoothly
Mud tubes formed along exterior walls and foundations
Maze-like patterns found on wooden walls, floors, or furniture
Mold or mildew smell throughout the structure
However, it is important to remember that, as most termite activity happens underground and within the walls and foundations of your home, you could have an infestation happen right under your nose and never become aware of it until it’s too late. For this reason, it’s always recommended to have an active termite protection plan in place to prevent termites from getting to your property in the first place.
Most of the signs termites will give you are not going to be early signs. Don't wait for signs, consider investing in ongoing, always active termite protection for your Nashville home. Let our service team help you find the right solution. Connect with us today.
We're Ready To Help
Request a FREE evaluation or get a quote over the phone.
View Our Home Pest Control Services Offerings
With nearly 60 years of experience in Middle Tennessee, we believe in providing reliable, easy to schedule services that eliminate Tennessee's most persistent, uninvited pests. You can choose general pest control for your home, termite protection or yard treatments for fleas and ticks... or you can bundle these services together to save money and time!
You will love our team! We show up on time with a smile, we follow-up with you until our service exceeds your expectations, we will return in between trips for free by request, and we do what we say we will do! Check out our Google reviews and call us for more information!