How To Tell If Your San Jose Property Has A Termite Problem

Termite infested wood.

Creaky floorboards, bubbling wallpaper, buckling walls, and drooping ceilings. Either your house is haunted by vengeful ghosts, or, as you may have figured out, you have a severe termite problem.

Termites are common pests in temperate regions and in tree-heavy ranges, like San Jose, CA. Though it can take years for this kind of damage to show, having termites always leads to destruction. There’s a secret to identifying termites on your California property, but first, let’s discuss what termites look like and why they’re so destructive.

Termite Identification Tips

Termites are peculiar looking pests. These insects most closely resemble white ants, but a few key features differentiate ants from a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

Termites typically range between ¼ and ½ an inch long. And they range in color from gray to light brown, though many termites also have a translucent look and are almost see-through. Termites have sectioned bodies, six legs, and spiny antennae that are about the length of their heads. Some termites have wings. These are called alates or swarmers and only appear once or twice a year for around 30 minutes.

Termite infestations often go unnoticed because these pests burrow underground. They then create tunnels to chew through the wood in your house, but they do so quietly, and the damage they cause can go unnoticed until damage has become severe.

Signs Of A Termite Infestation

You are much more likely to see the signs of a termite infestation before you ever see the termites themselves. This is because termites prefer to stay in their underground tunnels or inside the wood. Despite their quiet nature, there are a few tricks you can use to identify termites in your San Jose home, such as the following:

  • Clicking noises. Soldier termites will sometimes bang their heads against tunnel walls if they perceive a threat. Be aware that this noise is faint. But the more termites there are inside the wall, the more noticeable the sound will be.
  • Tight-fitting doors and windows. The moisture released from termite activity can make your doors and windows fit tightly into their respective niches, making them harder to open. 
  • Termite excrement. Also known as frass, these pests leave tiny wood-colored pellets around wooden spaces, from floorboards to window sills.
  • Termite pinholes. These are tiny holes that termites create on drywall or wallpaper when they eat through the walls.
  • Sagging ceilings, discolored walls, creaky floorboards, and weak furniture are all signs of wood decay and moisture from termite activity.

Termite-Prevention Tips

Preventing termites involves preventing the factors that encourage their colonies to form. You can keep termites out by identifying and remedying the following causes of termite problems.

For starters, reduce soil-to-wood contact in your California home. Termites crawl from their underground colonies into your house through its wooden structures, so try to keep wood from touching the soil as much as possible. You should also keep your firewood far away from your property, and if it’s inside your home, keep it above ground and far away from any other wooden structures.

Additionally, keep your home well ventilated and reduce humidity and moisture. Termites are attracted to highly moist spaces in your house, especially in your crawl spaces or where your house meets the ground. Test for moisture in these spaces and keep your property ventilated.

Finally, shut off the outdoor lights – at least in spring. Keep your exterior lights off at night, as this can attract termite swarmers (and other pests) to your home, and an infestation may soon follow.

If you notice any of these signs of termites, even if you don’t see the pests themselves, it’s time to let your local exterminators prevent your San Jose house from future damage. Bay Pest Solutions will get rid of the termites before it’s too late for your home. Contact us today!

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