An obvious sign of termite infestation is the building up of fecal pellets with six sides, also called “frass.” Frass can look like coffee grounds or sawdust. Other termite signs are blistering or warping on wood surfaces. Infestations can be confirmed by tapping on the wood every few inches with the handle of a screwdriver. If damaged, the wood will sound hollow. In addition to frass and hollow-sounding wood, other termite signs may include winged insects indoors or discarded wings, cracked pain on wood surfaces, and termite mud tubes on outside walls. Besides damaging wood, termites may also injure trees and shrubs. It normally takes years for termites to cause significant damage in wood. However, termites should be treated promptly.
If your home shows signs of termites, it is best to leave treatment to professionals as they have the proper equipment and experience. If your home has been treated within the last five years, you could call the company that provided the treatments. If it has never received treatment, it is best to call local pest control companies and receive estimates. The companies can then conduct an inspection and determine whether you have termites. Of the many termite treatment products available, the newer non-repellent termiticides such as Termidor have received good reports. You can ask the professional what termiticide they will be using to treat the termites and ask for a copy of the label. If there is a particular termiticide you want used, you can ask if they can use that particular one. Treating the house with liquid termiticide will kill or repel the termites and create a barrier around and under the house. Drilling in or outside the house allows for a more comprehensive barrier.