Early Warning Signs Of Termites On Your Jacksonville Property

Jacksonville is home to scary little insects called subterranean termites. These insects live in the ground, and a single colony can feed on more than one home simultaneously because workers travel as far as 400 feet in search of food. If they attack your Jacksonville home, they'll do it from the ground and work their way up. There is a misconception that winged termites are how termite infestations begin. If you see hundreds, or even thousands, of winged termites on the exterior of your home, that is a sign that there is already a mature nest somewhere nearby. Termite swarmers are not an early warning sign. They don't start appearing till years after a nest is established. Today, we're going to talk about signs you might be able to see before termites are allowed to do extensive damage to your home.

termites damaging wood

Shelter Tubes

When subterranean termites come to the foundation of your home, they don't emerge from the ground and crawl up your foundation to get to the wood in your home. Workers have thin skins that dry out in the open air. They need to keep themselves hydrated. For this reason, they build mud structures on foundation walls to get to above-ground sources of wood. You might be able to detect these tubes if you know where to look.

  • Inspect the outside of your foundation, especially where landscape vegetation is close to or touching your exterior. These areas are higher in moisture and more conducive to termite activity.

  • Inspect underneath exterior structures, such as decks, patios, porches, and stairs.

  • If you have a crawl space under your home, this should be thoroughly inspected. It is the perfect location for termites to establish these shelter tubes.

What does a shelter tube look like? These mud tunnels can be as thin as a pencil or as thick as several feet if hundreds of them have been created in one location under a home. If you have one tube working its way up a surface, you may see it branch like a river. This can create a pattern on your wall that looks like chain lightning—only it will be upside down.

Termite Damage Or Termite Activity

When subterranean termites find wood-to-soil contact, they can go right into the wood. If this is happening on your property, you may be able to detect it. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Inspect the base of wood fence posts or wooden deck supports and look for deterioration.

  • Inspects stumps, dead trees, logs, or trees that have heart rot by cutting into them. This may reveal tunnels inside or tiny pale worker insects.

  • Inspect the damp area between mulch and soil by raking. You could find workers, soldiers, or winged termites.

  • Inspect under any wood objects in your yard and look for termite workers or soldiers underneath.

If you notice any changes to wood on your property, it is a good idea to have a professional take a look. Several pests can damage the wood of your home.

Cracks and Crevices

When subterranean termites explore your foundation, they'll take advantage of cracks they find. As they work their way up through cracks, they'll bring soil with them and line everything with it. This helps them to stay hydrated. Sometimes this will cause mud to appear in the cracks and crevices of stone, brick, cement, and wood. Worker termites seal their tunnels to keep the air out. They also patch holes when they accidentally breach tunnel walls and expose tunnels to the air. If you see mud on interior surfaces, that is a bad sign. Inspect dark, secluded areas of your home to find traces of mud.

The Best Early Warning Sign

When you have a certified professional install the Sentricon® System with Always Active™, you get the best possible early warning sign. Subterranean termite workers are always looking for food, and they have a preference for the Sentricon® bait. As they take the bait, it is easy for your technician to see. In most cases, the active ingredient is enough to eliminate the attacking colony, but when a large colony attacks or more than one colony attacks, your technicians can add a more potent bait to eliminate them.

If you live in Jacksonville, you should have termite protection for your home. Let our team protect your investment. Reach out to us today to schedule a service visit. We're here to help.