Immediately on spotting them is easiest answer for that question and looking for termites can be done by anyone at home and with a bit of scrupulous examination, one can ascertain the need and extent of extermination treatments.
Termites are painfully common and there are several types of termites. The most commonly found species is the subterranean termites. Dry wood termites infest wood. Formosan termites are found more commonly in Asia but have made their homes in southern parts of the US as well. Flying termites are the stage that termites move into when they are in reproductive age. More often these forms of termites are spotted in homes and buildings.
It is easy enough to know that there is termite infestation in one’s home. Signs like mud tubes and damage are common indicators for termite infestation. Mud tubes, as the term denotes are like hollow pencils or tubes of mud left by the termite as it digs its way to the source of food. Damage to wood is caused by the termites breaking down the wood and eating it. Thus if some wooden frame or surface feels brittle or fragile and even breaks away upon touching the same, it is most probably because of termite infestation.
A sort of muddy material may also be visible on the surface of the wood that is damaged by the termite. It would be loose mud which should not be there on the surface. Sawdust like matter is also a strong sign that there are termites in the wood. Thus little piles of sawdust that fall off wood surfaces like wooden cupboards and a chest of draws can be signs of termite infestations.
One thing that you can also look for is the presence of wings. As termites come into the house, they can also shed their wings and this would be a sure giveaway to their unwanted presence in your homes as well.
One of the ways in which one can check for termite damage even if there is no external signs is to check if the wood is emitting a hollow sound. If the wood is meant to be solid then it should not sound hollow when tapped. Take a hammer or simply, literally, knock on wood. If there is a certain hollowness to the sound that comes back, then you may want to check for termite damage.
On finding any such traces of termites, one should call in pest control company services right away.
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eHow: How to Tell If a Home Has Termites