If you are like many homeowners in Kingwood, Texas, you know this is termite season. You also know termites can be costly and destructive. However, you might not know how to tell if you have termites. There are several ways you can identify a termite infestation.
First, look at the insect you suspect to be a termite. Termites and ants are often confused, but there are some differences. Termites have a soft body and do not have a narrow waist like ants do. Termites have 4 wings of equal length, where winged ants font wings are larger than their back wings. Termites have 6 legs and straight antennae, while ants have bent antennae. Termites vary in color, with worker termites being very light or almost translucent, while winged termites are darker.
If you have inspected the insect and still aren’t sure, look for signs around your home. In mid to late spring, on a warm sunny day, usually after a rain, termites will swarm to create new colonies. The winged termites can die quickly so you might see the dead bodies after a swarm. You may also see the tell tale tunnels termites create. The tunnels are roughly the diameter of a pencil and you can see them on exposed wooden surfaces or around the foundation of the house.
Remember that termites eat wood from the inside out, so it isn’t always easy to find the tunnels until you look under the surface. If there is any area you suspect may have damage, tap the area with a flat head screwdriver. If it sounds hollow or breaks apart easily you might have termites.
You may also find a termite colony in a mulch or wood pile lying around the yard. Termites like cool, shady or damp places. It is common to find termite and water damage together. So if you have had leaky pipes, be sure to check those areas well.
Remember, this is termite season and if you think there is even the slightest chance you may have termites, call a professional. It is better to be safe than sorry.