If you grew up watching cartoons, you might have seen popular depictions of termites eating off whole pieces of wooden furniture, leaving nothing but sawdust in its wake. Well, this is not entirely true! While termites do feed on wood, they do not completely ingest the wood. Termites only feed on the cellulose found in wood, which is why a termite-infested piece of wood will appear to be intact, but is actually hollowed out.
Termites are troublesome pests because they hide well underground or in the hollowed out crevices of wooden items. Without close inspection, their destruction can go unnoticed for a long time. That is why routine checks are necessary for detecting the early signs of termite infestation. To know more about the signs that termites have found their way into your home, read on:
- Termite sounds
Believe it or not, you can actually hear termites. Termites have an alert system where they bang their heads against the walls of the tunnels to alarm other termites of perceived danger. To our ears, this banging sounds like a dry rattling in the walls or wooden items. Another sound you may hear if you have a termite infestation is a papery rustle. Due to termites eating away at the wood, their movements can be heard if they are feeding near the surface of the wood. Some studies have suggested that termites eat faster if they hear rock music! While bizarre, this might be something you want to ascertain if you have termites in your home. Other than that, the sounds of termites are not something anyone would want to be hearing in their home.
- Hollow wood sounds
As termites consume the interior of the woods, they often leave only the outer shell and a hollowed-out structure of the wood. As a result, the wood is audibly hollow when you knock on it. If you hear a hollow sound when you knock on your wooden furniture, it is a big warning sign that termites have had their heyday munching on pieces of your home. It might be too late to salvage your piece of furniture, but it is not too late to stop the termites from spreading to your other items. A professional termite removal company will be able to conceive a strategy to eliminate the pests from your home.
- Tunnels in Wooden Objects
You may have started noticing damage on your wooden furniture, but how can you differentiate them from other types of damage? Termites eat away at wood by forming tunnels parallel to the grain of the wood. Depending on the angle the wood has been exposed, the effects of termites may appear as honeycomb structures or long hollow strips. If you already suspect termite damage but your wooden furniture look mostly intact, consider picking away the top layer of wood with a knife. Doing so will expose the inner-view of the wood, allowing you to spot damages to the inside of the wood. If you have engaged the services of a pest control company, they may make use of technology such as thermography to detect the presence of termites without making a single dent in your wall or furniture.
Early detection is crucial to controlling the population of termites in your home, so keep these tips in mind the next time you conduct a pest check in your home. If you find any signs of termites in your home, do not despair! Local pest control companies usually have affordable and comprehensive strategies to eradicate the wood-eaters from your home.