“He’s got termites in his attic” may sound like an insult to someone’s intelligence, but even when looking at the literal meaning, you don’t want to be that guy. Termites are tiny critters, but they pose a huge threat to your roof and home. Because damage often occurs where you can’t see it, visible signs of termites are a critical situation that you need to address immediately. Failure to do so can lead to additional damage and increase the expense of handling the problem and recovering from the harm done by these ravenous insects. Here are some warning signs that you may be dealing with a termite infestation of your roof.
1. Wood Pellets or Dust
Termites consume the wood infrastructure that supports your roof and some parts of the roof itself. Like a messy child leaves a ring of crumbs around their place at the dinner table, termites leave a tell-tale trail of wood pellets or dust. As they consume the wood components of your roof and home, they leave bits and pieces littered around the area. Spotting small wood pellets or mounds of unexplained wood dust is a warning sign of unwanted insect guests.
2. Hollow-Sounding Wood
You don’t just knock on wood for good luck. Tapping on the wood in and around your house can help you determine whether you have termites. Because these wood-eating pests tunnel through wood, sometimes the outside of a board looks fine while the inside looks like a piece of Swiss cheese. Knocking on the wood will tell you whether termites have hollowed it out. If the knock echoes or the board sounds hollow, you may have a termite problem. This sound can leave you feeling a bit hollow and anxious inside. But the sooner you address it, the better.
3. Clicking Sounds
Yes, in some cases, you can hear termites. The worker insects create noises as they consume wood. They also use sounds to communicate.
When they feel threatened, or their nests are disturbed, termites will hit their heads against the inside of their tunnels. The resulting rattling sounds alert other insects in the colony to the impending danger. Humans can hear these sounds. If you do, look for termite infestation in the vicinity.
Yes, termites are a sign of termite infestation. This indicator may seem obvious. However, many people don’t know what they are looking at when they see a bug flying, walking, or dead in their home. Is it an ant or perhaps an elongated beetle? Or is it a termite?
Most termites are ¼ to ½ inch long, though some can be larger. Colors range from white to light brown. Some have long wings extending well past their bodies, while others look like pale, giant ants. If you see anything that looks like a termite, call a pest control company immediately to confirm that what you see is a termite. Unless you can reliably identify a termite, this obvious indicator can be easy to miss.
5. Holes in Wood
As they weave in and out of a piece of wood chewing a meandering maze pattern, termites leave holes at their entry and exit points. These holes are small, usually ⅛ inch or less. In addition to eating wood, termites can consume parts of drywall and may channel through mud. That means you should promptly investigate any unexplained holes or call an expert if you’re unsure what is causing the pinholes to appear in your wall.
6. Ceiling Damage
Termites can work their way into your ceiling and roof. If you notice holes or discoloration on your ceiling, you may be looking at signs of termite infestation. Once it has reached this point, your termite problem is quite severe. Time is of the essence. Call pest control immediately.
7. Sagging Roof
If insects have consumed enough wood to compromise the support system for your roof, you may see sagging of the entire roof. When that happens, you need to call a pest control company and reach out to a roofing company. Whether the sagging is from termites or some other cause, it must be addressed immediately. Otherwise, what could have been fixed with a small repair can turn into a catastrophic roof failure.
8. Detached Tiles or Shingles
Detached tiles or shingles are another sign that could be caused by termites or by other issues. If you need help determining the source of the problem, a roof service company can perform an inspection. That will ascertain whether you need to mitigate a termite infestation or address some other issue causing roof deterioration. If it is termites, once the bugs are gone, you should have roof repairs performed immediately to prevent additional damage to your roof and home.
Termites don’t mess around. They can consume 2-3% of their body weight daily, meaning an average colony can eat about five grams of wood every day. That level of destruction adds up quickly. The sooner you can spot and address a termite infestation, the less damage they will do. That means less cost to repair what they’ve destroyed. Look for these signs of termite infestation, especially in your attic and gutters or around windows and doors. Catching termites early may save your roof and your wallet.