Now that Spring is here, be on the lookout for evidence of termites. They cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage each year – that’s more damage to homes than all other natural disasters combined.

Signs of a termite infestation:

  • In early spring, swarming termites are generally the first sign of an infestation and often appear on windowsills or near indoor lights. Many homeowners mistake termite swarms for flying ants. However, if you find an insect that looks like a flying ant but does not have the three distinct body segments of an ant, you’ve found a termite! Swarming termites have four wings of equal length, straight and beaded antennae, and broad bodies, whereas flying ants have four wings of unequal length, bent antennae and may look more “pinched” in appearance.

Other signs of a termite infestation include:

  • Mud tubes on the exterior of the home
  • Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Darkening or blistering of wood structures
  • Cracked or bubbling paint
  • Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest
  • Damage around the home, such as a your fence, porch, patio or deck
  • Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home or swarmers themselves, which are often mistaken for flying ants

Once you determine that you have termites in your home, it can be extremely difficult, nearly impossible, to eliminate each one of them on your own. If you notice any of these signs, you should contact a pest control professional immediately.