Your home is a haven. What is better than curling up with a good book and sitting in a quiet corner? Add a warm cup of cocoa and it is almost perfect! Unfortunately, hidden within the walls of your home may be silent little fugitives who would like nothing more than to chew through all of the wood in your house. These intruders are termites!
There are several types of termites that can be very dangerous for your home, including drywood termites and the more destructive subterranean termites. Both of these species of termite live in large colonies. Thousands of termites will work together eating their way through the beams, floors and walls.
Drywood termites can generally be found in the dry wood framing and support beams in the attic, floors and walls of your home. These colonies can consist of thousands of termites working their way through your home feasting on anything containing cellulose, such as wood, drywall, and insulation. As weather warms, colonies will swarm. The swarmers consist of winged termites who gather together to reproduce and start a new colony who will only add to the destruction.
The subterranean termites spend their time living with their colonies underground. Unlike the drywood termite, their colonies can be over one million strong but will still swarm in the spring to create new colonies. These termites build mud tubes to work their way into buildings where they also will literally eat you out of house and home. Their powerful jaws will do more than tunnel through the wood in your home. Given enough time, they can actually collapse an entire dwelling.
You might never even see the danger coming or know it is there until they have destroyed large portions of the wood in a structure. It can be difficult to be able to tell if you have termites. There is a reason why people call termites the "silent destroyer". Many times we have no idea until there is a full blown infestation or significant damage occurs. Occasionally, termite damage will look more like water damage, causing sagging and discoloration in the ceiling or walls. You might also notice cracks in the veneer in your home or maze-like tunnels in furniture or exposed beams. If you see any damage signs, you should call your local pest professional immediately to prevent further destruction of your property. You may even be able to avoid termites all together with regular home inspection from a specialist.