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What Termite Damage Looks Like In Chandler Homes

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Chandler, Arizona is home to two termite types. They are the drywood termite and the subterranean termite. While there are differences between them, both can damage the wood in your home in a similar way. Termites feed on wood and create galleries inside. Over time, this can create costly damage, if you don't know how to detect termite activity.

Today, we're going to discuss the defining characteristics of termite damage, how drywood and subterranean termites are somewhat different, and how Green Home Pest Control helps Chandler property owners proactively stop termites in their tracks.

How Drywood & Subterranean Termites Are Different

Before we discuss what termite damage looks like, it is important that we take a quick look at how these two different termite types differ from one another.

  • Drywood termites feed on hardwood. Subterranean termites prefer to feed on wood that has been damaged by moisture but will move into sound structural timbers. 
  • Drywood termites feed across the grain in wood and subterranean termites follow the grain in sound pieces of wood. When subterranean termites get into decaying wood, which is their preference, they will feed across the grain.
  • Drywood termites will have fecal pellets in their tunnels and the walls will be smooth to the touch. Subterranean termites will have soil in their tunnels and the walls will be gritty to the touch.

What Termite Damage Looks Like If You Can See It

The vast majority of termite damage happens where you can't see it. Before we discuss what you can see, it is important to take a look behind the scenes. This will give you valuable insight as you attempt to uncover damage.

  • If you could pull up your hardwood floor, you might see trenches in the subflooring. Termites can eat extensive tunnels in the subflooring of a home.
  • If you could pull the veneer off surfaces in your kitchen, you might see drywood termite tunnels all through the cabinetry, and subterranean termite tunnels in 2x4s, or wiggling tunnels all through particleboard and other structural materials.
  • If you could see into baseboards or window and door frames, you'd see tunnels upon tunnels throughout.

How Damage Becomes Visible

While it is possible to actually see a hole start to develop, you're more likely to notice signs that the wood you can't see is being damaged. Noticeable holes are usually created by drywood termites because they have a greater tolerance for dry air. If subterranean termites create a hole that you can see, it is going to be in a location that is high in humidity or damp from moisture. We'll discuss the obvious holes in the next section.

Here are some ways you can detect termite damage that is just below the surface:

  • When termite tunnels expand from heat and humidity, and when they are close to the surface, it can cause surface materials to bubble. This bubbling is often caused by drywood termites.
  • When termite tunnels are close to the surface, the exterior of wood may develop dents that look like honeycombs. This kind of damage is often caused by subterranean termites.
  • When subterranean termites feed on structural timbers, floors and ceilings can begin to sink and walls can begin to bulge. This damage can be mistaken for water damage. Often, water damage and subterranean termite damage go hand-in-hand.
  • If termites are feeding on a thick timber, you may be able to tell if you tap on the wood. A hollow sound will reveal that the interior of the timber is being hollowed out.

Obvious Holes

If you see a hole developing, there are only a handful of pests that could have created it. None of them are good to have in your home. It is also possible for a hole to be created by moisture and wood rot. This is still an important issue to address, but it is not pest-related.

If termites are to blame for the hole, you should see these characteristics:

  • If the hole was created by drywood termites, you're likely to see termite droppings. Drywood termites push their droppings out of their tunnels as necessary.
  • If the hole was created by subterranean termites, you're likely to see mud patches or mud structures. These termites use soil and saliva to patch up breaches in tunnel walls, and they create shelter tubes to go from one food source to another without being exposed to the air.

Proactive Termite Control In Chandler, Arizona

Green Home Pest Control uses industry-leading termiticides and bait to arrest termite infestations and to actively eliminate colonies that send worker termites to feed on properties in Chandler. Whether you need to have an infestation addressed, a pre-treatment for a new home, a protective barrier for your existing home, or an inspection during the sales process, our team is available to help. Reach out to us for more information or to schedule a termite control service visit.