3 Tips For Checking Your Seattle Home's Crawl Space For Signs Of A Termite Infestation
If the rainy season in Seattle, Washington, has been extra wet, you may be concerned that the extra moisture in your crawl space has attracted a termite colony. If so, use the following three tip to check the space for signs of a termite infestation.
Look For Swarmers Around The Crawl Space's Entry
In the early stages of development, worker termites have wings. Called swarmers, these insects are sometimes mistakenly called "flying ants" since they look like ants with wings. The presence of these swarmers usually means that a nest is nearby.
When you go to inspect your crawl space, look around the entryway for signs of these swarmers. You can usually see them come out when the sun shines after a rain storm. Especially if you see them, you need to look deeper into your crawl space to see if the termites have taken up residence there.
Check For Mud Tunnels
Once you have entered the crawl space, use a flashlight to check the walls for the presence of mud tunnels and pinholes. Mud tunnels are small corridors the insects create using wood, dirt, and saliva to connect the nest with their food source, which is the wood in your crawl space.
Even if you only see a couple of these tunnels, you have the beginnings of a termite infestation. However, the more mud tunnels you see, the more the insects are chewing away at the supporting structures of your home. To see the full extent of the damage, use the tip discussed in the next section.
Tap The Wood Lightly With A Hammer
Wherever you see the mud tunnels above, termites have dug tiny channels in the wood to harvest the material to take back to the nest. Eventually, a large number of these channels will create a hollow structure, weakening the wood and the support it gives to your home.
To find out how much damage has already been done, take a hammer and lightly tap the wood near the mud tunnels. If the wood has been eaten away, you will hear a hollow thud.
To visually see the damage, use a knife to tear off a piece of surface wood. If you can easily tear it off, and you see what looks like the inside of a corrugated box, you have a serious termite problem on your hands.
If you find signs of a termite infestation, do not try to take care of the problem yourself. Termites are tricky to exterminate and should be dealt with by a professional. Contact a service in the Seattle, Washington, area who provides crawl space pest control services to have them inspect the area and offer solutions to your termite problem.