How To Tell If Your Austin Property Has Termites
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How To Tell If Your Austin Property Has Termites

Do you know that you can have a million termites in your yard and not know it? It's true. Subterranean termites are tiny insects that live under the ground and hide from view. And when they start to get into your home, they continue to stay hidden. This is because subterranean termites need to stay hydrated. When they leave their tunnels, they dry out and die. This is important to understand if you want to uncover evidence of termite activity on your Austin property. This is where we are going to start our discussion today.

1. Inspect Your Yard

If you know that termites live in the ground and that they prefer to feed on wood, you have an idea where you can find them in your yard. It is possible that you've already detected them and didn't realize it. Termite workers are about ⅛ of an inch long. If you pick up a dead branch and see tiny bugs that seem to crawl into the cracks of the branch and disappear, you might think that those small bugs were maggots. But maggots don't have legs. Those wood-loving, maggot-like bugs are actually termites. Here are a few places you might find them if you inspect your yard.

  • Underneath stacked wood used for campfires and cookouts, branches collected in the yard, scrap wood from a construction project, mulch around your perimeter, leaf piles, and other organic debris.
  • In the soil around or inside stumps, logs, and trees that have heart rot.
  • In the soil at the base of wooden fence posts, wood supports on your deck, and wood-to-soil contact on your shed.

2. Inspect Structures

If termites are inside a wooden fence, shed, deck, or the wood inside your home, there are a few ways you may be able to detect them. Termites shield themselves from the drying effects of the air by patching up tunnel breaches with mud, and by creating structures called shelter tubes. If you don't know what a shelter tube is, it is basically an above-ground tunnel made of soil and termite saliva. The presence of mud on wood, or the establishment of mud tunnels on any surface, are an indication of termite activity within. Here are a few locations to inspect.

  • Dark voids underneath decks, porches, and patios are a good place to start looking for mud patches and shelter tubes. These spaces can be dark and humid, which are conducive conditions for termite activity. If you have areas that are beginning to rot, termites will be even more attracted.
  • The surface of your foundation walls or slab. Termites will construct shelter tubes and use them to go from the ground to the wood of your home. Areas of high humidity, such as between landscaping and your walls, or where the ground is saturated due to a clogged gutter system, are good locations to inspect first.
  • On interior basement walls and in dark spaces within your home. Shelter tubes don't just appear on the outside.
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