Not one, not two, but a whopping 2,300 species of termites exist all over the world. Of these, 44 species call the United States home.
Termites are crucial to ecology, as they feed on wood, leaf, and other organic materials. This, in turn, makes them helpful in releasing key nutrients back to the ecosystem.
However, termites are also significant pests since they have a voracious appetite. As such, their feeding behavior extends to homes and commercial buildings.
The estimated cost of termite infestation damages, unfortunately, is as high as $1 to $7 billion a year. That’s in the US alone, and these figures may not even include the cost of treating and repairing the damages.
This is why it’s super important that you learn more about the signs of termite infestation. This way, you can protect your business from such massive damages and losses.
This post lists the top signs that termites have invaded your commercial property. Read on to know more about them and what you should do in case you experience them.
1. Mud Tubes
Moisture is essential for termites to survive. Without it, they will die due to desiccation. Subterranean termites are especially sensitive, as their bodies consist of a soft cuticle.
As such, termites create mud tubes to avoid direct exposure to air and sunlight. These mud tubes often start from their nest and then connect to their food sources. You’ll often find these “tunnels” in areas with a lot of moisture, such as toilets and basements.
Mud tubes look like trails of soil that extend over walls, ceilings, floors, and even siding. They are about as wide as a pencil, although they can be thicker. They also take on a raised appearance.
“Active” mud tubes always have “traffic” in them, so if you break one, you’ll see white worker termites. However, they can also become dry and vacant, which means that the insects no longer use them.
If you encounter vacant tubes, this doesn’t mean that you no longer have an infestation. It only signals that the termites have moved on to another food source.
In case you see any of these in or around your commercial property, it’s best to contact a termite control expert. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get rid of these pests.
2. Termite Mounds
Termites are incredible architects, building mounds as tall as 17 feet. Many of these massive nests are so big that you can even see them from space!
Fortunately, termites often build these gigantic mounds out in nature. However, you may still find smaller versions of these nests on commercial properties. Formosan termites usually build these above-ground nests, also called “cartons.”
Cartons are a mixture of soil, chewed wood, unchewed wood, and termite saliva. In buildings, they are often inside the walls, but you may also find them on garden beds. You may also spot them near food sources or areas where there’s a lot of moisture.
If you see any of these around your commercial property, call a termite pest control company ASAP. Don’t disturb the mound, lest you want to face thousands, even millions of creepy crawlers. Let the pros handle the potential destruction of the mounds, which is far safer than if you kicked that nest.
3. Stuck Windows and Doors
When termites feed, they change the structure of the material they consume. In windows and doors, this can cause their frames and other components to warp. As a result, you and your employees may find it hard to open affected doors and windows.
4. Squeaking, Creaking, or Hollow-Sounding Wood
According to this link, https://affinitypestcontrol.com/2020/04/10/the-ultimate-guide-to-eagle-pest-control/, major termite infestations can cause structural instability in walls. This can then cause them to produce sounds like squeaks and creaks. You may hear these noises whenever people step on the floors near the affected walls.
Tapping on termite-infested wood materials can also create a hollow-like sound. In this case, it means that the insects have already consumed a considerable portion of the wood. Tapping the material may also cause it to disintegrate further.
If you notice any of these sounds, it may already be time for termite infestation treatment. Get in touch with a pest control company as soon as you can, as unstable walls and floors can be a safety hazard.
5. Flying Swarms
Termite swarms consist of the winged, reproductive members of a termite colony. They don’t eat wood, nor do they bite, sting, or cause property damage. Their primary function is to mate, multiply, and sustain their species.
Swarming termites get attracted to light. As such, you’ll often see them congregating near light bulbs.
The thing is, visible swarms often indicate an established infestation. Experts say that termite colonies produce swarmers within three to five years. So, if you see them, it may mean that termites have been eating away at your office building for years.
Swarms usually come out during springtime, so be on the lookout for these winged insects. Call a termite control expert as soon as you notice these flying termites.
6. Discarded Wings
Speaking of swarming termites, these insects aren’t strong fliers. After a short flight, they end up landing and then breaking off their wings. So, even if you missed the actual flying insects, you may still see discarded wings.
In case you do find these wings around the office, take that as your cue to get in touch with a pest control service.
Don’t Delay the Extermination of a Termite Infestation
There you have it, your guide on how to tell that your business is dealing with a termite infestation. If you see any of these signs, make sure that you contact a professional exterminator ASAP.
Note that removing termites in homes and commercial buildings require special chemicals. As such, it’s best to leave the task in the hands of pros who are experts in dealing with these substances.
Ready for more tips and strategies to keep your place of business (and your home) healthy, safe, and secure? Feel free to read our other home and business blog posts then!