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How to identify termite damage

The top 5 ways to identify termite damage that every property owner should be on the lookout for, and what to do if you do (or don’t) spot the tell-tale signs.

Termite infestation damage is a real threat to buildings right across Papua New Guinea. In fact, it is estimated to cause millions of kinas in damages each and every year – something no property owner can afford.

It’s why it is very important to become familiar with the outward signs of a termite infestation and know what to do if you do (and don’t) spot damage in your property.

Don’t forget though, termite infestations are easy to protect from, and regular termite inspections (done by experienced and qualified inspectors like ProPest) are a much better way to detect and protect yourself from termites early, rather than trying to treat an infestation that’s already happened. 

If you do, however, think that you might have a termite problem, or you want to be on the lookout for this in the future, here are our 5 top ways you can spot this yourself.

 

TOP 5 WAYS TO IDENTIFY TERMITE DAMAGE IN YOUR PROPERTY 

 

1. SIGNS OF MUD

Termites can be identified by looking for two different signs of mud in your property.

The first is mud in cracks of skirting boards and timber like doorframes and windows. This is because termites fill the gaps and cracks of places they are present in to stop predators from entering.

The other sign to look out for is mud tunnels. Termites live underground (subterranean) and build tunnels to sources of food. While this can be harder to spot as they are often under the house, they are still important to look for.

 

2. HOLLOW SOUNDING TIMBER

If you tap on areas in the house that should be solid (like window frames and skirting boards) and you hear a hollow or inconsistent sound, this is a major sign that termites may be present. This is because termites eat the timber, leaving it hollow – and weak – inside.

You can easily tap with the end of a screwdriver along the wall or frame and listen for the sound to change.

 

3. BUBBLING PAINT ON WOOD PANELS OR TRIM

If you find your paint is bubbling or cracking on gyprock and painted timber in your property, this is another sign that termites are present. The bubbling is caused when termites hollow out the surface underneath.

Some bubbles will be less obvious than others. You can check for bubbling by holding a torch sideways against the surface and looking for imperfections in the paint.

 

4. SIGNS OF TERMITE DROPPINGS OR ‘SWARMERS’

Sometimes, you may be able to spot signs of termites themselves in your property. Look out for two different things.

Firstly, termite droppings. These tiny granular mounds are left by termites after consuming wood and are dark in colour and often powdery.

The second is ‘swarmers’. Swarmers are flying termites that have left the nest to find a mate and/or establish a new colony – which could be in your home.

Different species swarm at different times but pay particular attention after rain and at night around light sources.

 

5. UNEXPLAINED DAMAGE TO YOUR PROPERTY

Termites cause significant damage to properties, and you may see unexplained damage in your property which can indicate you have a termite problem. This can include:

  • Drooping or sagging drywalls and frames.
  • Buckling wood or laminate floorboards.
  • Squeaky floorboards.
  • Small pinhead-sized holes in drywalls.
  • Stuck window or doors (as the moisture termites leave swells the wood).
  • Cracked paint and plaster.
  • Power failures (as termites can be attracted to the warmth behind electrical fittings).

 

SPOT ANY OF THESE 5 SIGNS IN YOUR PROPERTY?

If you can see any of the above damage in your property, don’t delay. Contact a professional pest management expert at ProPest straight away to inspect your home and to treat any infestations.

 

NONE OF THESE SIGNS OCCURING TO YOU?

See none of the signs above? While this is a great thing, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet.

Early termite damage is not always visible to the eye and requires professional experience and tools to detect if your property is under threat.

Here at ProPest, we use state of the art equipment (such as thermal imaging and moisture meters), combined with our expert knowledge and experience to find termite activity where others have missed.

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY: PROTECT YOURSELF BEFORE A PROBLEM OCCURS.

While there are ways to look for termite damage in your home or property, the best thing to do is prevent termite infestations before they happen.

Here at ProPest, we install effective termite protection systems that can protect your property.

A termite protection system will certainly cost less to prevent an infestation rather than treating one, and you’ll be thanking yourself for years to come that you have this installed when other properties around you are treating their termite damage and your property is termite-free.

Want to know more about how to prevent termites or have an expert inspect your property for termite damage? Contact our expert team today and we can take your termite treatment needs.

 

Article by: 

John Bruce Vere

General Manager

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PROPEST CONTROL LTD
Office location:
Building 4, Unit 1
Section 38, Allotment 33
Pacific Palms Estate
Waigani, NCD

Postal address:
P.O Box 4232,
Boroko NCD 111,
Papua New Guinea

TOLL FREE: 180 3900
T: +675 325 3724 / 325 4842
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