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  • Writer's pictureJon Stoddard

How Would I Know If I Have Termites?


Q. What Types Of Termites Are In Florida?

A. Subterranean Termites and Drywood termites



What Are Subterranean Termites?


Subterranean termites are wood-eating insects that regularly invade dwellings and cause pest problems. The worker termites and the termite swarmers are the two forms of termites that typically affect homeowners. The 3–4 mm long, creamy-colored worker termites are most often visible when infested damaged wood is torn apart, opened up, or a mud foraging tube is destroyed. The reproductive cast of the termite colony is called swarmers. They are about 4 mm in total length and are typically dark brown or black in appearance. They may not be able to fly due to the fact that swarmers quickly shed their wings after emerging.


Although swarmers are often seen in Florida from March through April, subterranean termite workers can be seen all year long. Eastern subterranean termites, the most prevalent species in Florida, typically fly in swarms throughout the day.


How Do I Know If I Have Subterranean Termites?


1. Unusual wall noise

There are many signs of a Subterranean termite infestation. If you hear strange noises behind your walls, subterranean termite activity may be present. Soldier termites sway and strike the wood with their heads. It alerts other termites to disturbances in the colony. Subterranean termites can hear the slightest noises and vibrations. It enables them to flee at the first sign of peril. Noisy eaters are worker termites. If you press your ear up to the wall, you can hear the noises termites make as they munch through a piece of wood.


2. Papery or hollow wood

Wood that looks papery and sounds hollow when you tap it could be infested with subterranean termites. These pests consume wood internally, leaving behind a thin veneer of wood or paint. To find the termites, you must look for blistered wood bits or damaged locations.


3. Mud and Mud Tubes

When moving between their colony and a food supply, the most damaging species of termites construct mud tubs for moisture. These tunnels are typically discovered close to the foundation of your home. Termite galleries, also referred to as tunnels, are difficult to discern from the wood's surface. Around your home, look for wood with exposed surfaces. These tunnels will almost certainly be visible, at which point you will be sure that termites are infesting your home.


4. Difficult to Operate Windows and Doors

Warping can make doors and windows difficult to open in humid conditions. You must inspect it for termite infestation if you want to be sure. When subterranean termites dig tunnels through your door and window frames, moisture is produced. The bent wood is more difficult to open due to the moisture buildup. Because house invaders may more easily force your doors open with crowbars and other such instruments, it raises further safety concerns. When you try to force the door open, it can collapse on you due to its impaired structural integrity.


5. Swarms or their discarded wings are present

The most apparent symptom is this one. These termites are fliers that have emerged from their nests in quest of partners. To start a new colony, they travel over large distances by air. After the last freeze, subterranean termites typically emerge in the spring. They venture forth at night, drawn to light sources. You frequently see your outdoor light or those thronging street lampposts. You must search for termite wings to determine if your home is infested with them. It is typically seen close to doorways and windowsills. Once they select a suitable spouse, the termites drop their wings, suggesting that a subterranean termite nest may already developed inside your house.



Drywood and Subterranean termites differ, Drywood termite colonies lack a worker caste, unlike subterranean termite species; young termites complete the task before adulthood. These termites, which can have colonies of up to 2,700 individuals, can frequently do significant harm long before they are found.

Drywood termite soldiers are larger than most other termite species and can be identified by their vast mandibles, which are frequently more prominent than their heads. Like other species of termites, drywood termites do not dig mud tubes because they need no touch with the earth to establish successful colonies. Drywood termites are notorious for devouring wood against its grain and frequently leave behind uneven, smooth tunnels.


Drywood termites typically swarm from August to November, in the late summer or early fall. Drywood termite swarms will fly to brand-new residences and structures in quest of wood to infest. Within months of colonization, they have the power to harm structural integrity seriously. To force their waste through the wood, drywood termites also make "kick-out" holes, leaving behind mounds that resemble sawdust or tiny sand grains.




What Are The Signs Of Drywood Termites?


1. Clicking noises can be heard

Termites produce a lot of noise, albeit it takes a trained ear to hear them. Termite infestations can be picked up by listening to clicking noises in the wall, which the insects make when feeding loudly, or by warning the colony of danger by knocking on wood.


2. Termites with Flying Wings

Their wings are another distinguishing feature. Flying termites or traces of their wings is a telltale indicators of a drywood termite infestation because the colony needs swarmers to breed and expand the colony.


3. Discovering "White Ants."

Most people are unaware of how much termites resemble ants in appearance. The greatest distinctions? Termites have bigger midsections, straight antennae, and cream-colored bodies.

4. Wood That Sounds Hollow

The sound of hollow wood is a vital sign that you have a significant termite infestation, even though the objective is to stop termites before they reach this far. Drywood termites only leave a fragile covering of wood or possibly just the paint since they consume a structure from the inside out. When you knock on the part of your house, it could sound thin or papery. This could be the result of a drywood termite colony.


5. Termite droppings or frass

One of the most visible indications of an infestation, aside from damage or termites themselves, is the presence of frass. Drywood termites, in contrast to subterranean termites, do not use their feces to construct. Instead, when they move through your house, they expel frass, kicking it into your window sills, flooring, and other parts. This causes the area to get infected with a dark powdery substance and little black markings.


Can I Hear Termites In Walls?

Termites and other tiny insects generally make sounds difficult for humans to hear. You need a stethoscope or other specialized equipment, even if it is technically possible to listen to the sounds of pests in your walls.


You will hear noisy, ravenous critters breaking at your walls if there is an infestation. Naturally, as the termite infestation grows, so does the noise level. Since a single termite cannot be heard, sounds from a sufficiently large termite colony that has invaded the wooden components of your home can be distinguished if you listen carefully.


Additionally, termites communicate by banging their heads against the tunnel walls, which results in a louder sound that is easier for humans to notice when they are frightened or in danger.


What Sound Do Termites In Walls Make?

Even though they may be barely audible to humans, termites are said to be quite noisy insects. These bugs make noise when they chew and eat while moving around the wood.

They have a variety of sounds they can produce. The following are some of the most typical noises you might hear in walls:


BANGING HEADS -

Headbanging is a fast-paced, dry, rattling sound that termites make that is the loudest sound and the strongest vibration.

You can hear soldier termites shaking their bodies or beating their heads against the sides of their tunnels in the wood when they detect a food supply or when they need to alert other pests in their colony to a potential threat.

Headbanging is used to signal to other members of the colony when anything is wrong. When the colony is under attack, this activity causes vibrations to spread throughout the nest, similar to beating a drum. Termites can only feel the vibrations via their bodies because they are deaf.


Buzzing: Termite sounds are constant, more like buzzing or humming, as opposed to the very irregular and infrequent noises made by other pests that may infest your home.


Chewing: Termites constantly chew because they adore doing it. However, eating noises are often far less loud in most structures compared to headbanging noises. Very mild munching or crunching noises may be heard while worker termites dig through a wooden building close to the surface.


Clicking: You can hear a distinct clicking sound emanating from your wall hollow whenever these insects are munching through the wood. Additionally, as they tunnel through the wood, worker termites generate rustling and clicking noises.


Tapping: Additionally, tapping on the walls may indicate the presence of termites or other pests. Due to vibrations from the headbanging, you might hear a slight tapping or rattling emanating from inside your walls.


Swarming: Termites swarm each spring and produce noises as they do so. It sounds like a faint buzzing sound produced by the insects' wings as they fly.

The fact that termites leave empty areas in your walls or flooring when they devour a lot of the wood in these constructions is another reason you may be hearing noises.

When you knock on these walls, they make a hollow sound. If you hit on what would ordinarily be a solid piece of wood and all you hear is a loudly open, dull sound, termites have likely already done significant internal damage.

Additionally, you may notice that some areas of your hardwood floor are groaning noisily due to these bugs continuing to munch on it, making it weaker and weaker over time. If you suspect any signs of a termite infestation, you should consider having a termite WDO Inspection.




The phrase "WDO" (Wood Destroying Organisms) or "Termite Inspection" refers to a thorough visual inspection that looks for past, present or potentially favorable conditions that could lead to future termite infestations. When inspecting a property, a WDO inspector looks for rotting wood caused by fungi, evidence of subterranean termite activity, Drywood Termite damage, or symptoms of wood-destroying insects. An appropriate home's exterior, interior, attic locations, and crawlspaces are all included in the visual examination.


Local Termite Treatment Company

If you suspect termite evidence, damage, or any signs of termites, it is imperative to contact a local pest control company. A trained professional will have the opportunity for quick identification and the tools to identify wood-destroying organisms quickly. If you reside in Volusia County, Flagler County, Seminole County, or St. Johns County of Florida, contact Imperial Pest Prevention, we are here to help.



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