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How To Spot Early Signs Of Termites On Your Greensboro, NC Property

a close-up of a termite

Springtime is always such a beautiful time of year. Watching the world around you come back to life with little leaf and flower buds, new growth peeking up out of the ground and popping out of branches to cover the landscape in fresh green hues, it never ceases to captivate us. With the warming of the season, though, comes the unfortunate possibility of new infestations; termite swarming season is right around the corner for Greensboro, and with over 4,000 different species worldwide, it's important to know the warning signs of an infestation.

Termites Or Ants?

Termites are commonly mistaken for ants on most occasions, and to be fair they look extremely similar. They're around the same size, measuring at 1/8th to 1/2 of an inch on average; and similar coloring as well, ranging from pale tan, to dark brown, and even black. So, what sets termites apart from ants? In appearance, there are many distinct differences:

  • Soft, squishy bodies
  • Elongated abdomens
  • Straight antennae
  • Disproportionately large heads
  • Four uniform wings on flying reproductive termites
  • Indistinct segmentation between head, thorax, and abdomen

The Silent Destruction Of Your Greensboro Home

The problem is, termites don't often emerge from their dwellings. Most termite species are light-sensitive and only emerge at night if at all, so catching them before they cause damage is difficult at best. Where ants will venture out of their nests to forage and retrieve food, termites have all the food they could possibly want within the very walls and floors in which they reside. Early warning signs are helpful to notice, such as piles of shed wings surrounding the property and unusual mounds of mud at the base of your home's foundation, but it is possible that you won't discover them until they've already begun their destructive habits. Signs of a termite infestation include:

  • Unusual signs of water damage, such as peeling paint, loose and buckling laminate flooring, and drywall discoloration
  • Maze-like patterns in walls, floors, and wooden furniture
  • Excessively squeaky floorboards, and stuck windows and doors
  • Damaged, crumbling wood
  • Unusual piles of sawdust-like material, also known as carton and frass
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped

In nature, termites are incredibly beneficial to the natural order of growth and decay. They often seek residence in dead and rotting wood, and their diets strictly consist of decaying plant matter. They offer a wonderful contribution to forests, as their presence aids in bringing forth new growth in the underbrush, but in urban areas, this level of destruction is devastatingly costly. In the span of one year alone, termites cause an estimated $30 billion in damage to buildings and crops throughout the United States.

DIY Safety Precautions To Take With Your Greensboro Residence

The good news is, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to keep termites out of your home. Swarming termites usually only travel at night, and they're attracted to bright light sources, so keeping your porch light turned off as much as possible at night is a good first step. Minimal wood-to-soil contact with your home's framework is important as well, as nests will often travel underground. Always keep mulch piles, stacks of firewood, lumber, and other wood-based materials such as paper and cardboard stored away from your home, and keep garden plants and shrubs trimmed away from your siding and foundation.

What If Termites Are Already Inside My Greensboro Home?

Discovering termites in your home is incredibly challenging; these pests are experts at staying hidden, and extensive damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair. When it comes to finding and ridding your Greensboro home of these costly nightmares, professional help is always recommended. At Go-Forth Home Services, our pest control experts are specially trained to inspect and identify infestations. We offer cutting-edge pest control equipment and pesticides and regular, affordable service plans for our Greensboro residents. With over 50 years of experience under our belt, we know exactly what it takes to keep you and your home safe and secure against pests. Get in contact with us today, so that you can rest easy knowing you're covered.