The Secret To Identifying Termite Activity In Your Norfolk Home

March 16, 2020

In our Virginia and North Carolina service areas, termites swarm in the spring. So, now is an important time of year to consider termite prevention. One of the most important ways you can prevent your home from being a meal for termites is knowing where to look for evidence of termite activity, and what to look for.

termite swarmers


What to look for — A termite swarmer is a winged termite. Its body is black and it has long white wings that are stacked on top of each other and rounded at the tips. These little insects are only about ⅝ of an inch long, including their wings. Most people don't recognize a termite swarmer when it is all by itself because it is so small. But you should become familiar with what these insects look like.

Where to look — If you have a nest near your home, it is likely to be under the ground and near a food source. Sometimes raking your mulch and looking underneath can expose a bed of white-winged termite swarmers. You may also chop into a stump or log to find them. Once they're commanded to leave their nests, you can find them crawling on the exterior of your home, or flying around exterior light sources if they swarm at night.


What to look for — Wings are an important warning sign. Swarms don't last long. A typical swarm will last only around 15 minutes—at most, 30 minutes. Termites can emerge, crawl around on your home and disperse before you get done watching one television program. It is important that you know to look for their shed wings. Termites shed their wings during mating. After this, they tunnel into the ground to establish their nests. If you have shed wings on your property, it should be a cause for concern.

Where to look — Termites look for dark, damp locations, especially near rotting wood. If you have a crawl space under your home, this is a prime location. They'll also get under decks, porches, patios, stairs, and exterior structures like sheds. Take a flashlight and do an inspection in these places if you can. Be sure to check spider webs. Webs are like little sticky traps. They're helpful for monitoring insect activity. You might even see a swarmer stuck in one of those webs.

Shelter Tubes

What to look for — Termite workers create tubes of mud up hard surfaces to get from the soil to the wood of homes. If termites are feeding on your home, and you don't have any wood that touches the soil, these tubes will be present. The trick is finding them. Termite workers have a strong aversion to light, and they avoid the dry air as much as possible.

Where to look — Shelter tubes are most likely to be found in crawl spaces and on the interior of concrete piers. If you have a cement foundation, they are likely to be on the foundation wall in locations that are protected by an exterior structure, objects near your home, or dense vegetation.

Termite Damage

What to look for — This is the least helpful warning sign to look for. Most of the damage termites do is on the inside of wood. But there are rare occasions when you can find damage on the outside.

Where to look — If you have a wooden fence, there might be damage near the soil if termites are feeding on the inside, especially if the soil stays damp. Dig around the fence post and see if there is more damage. You might even find little pale termite workers hard at work devouring that wood.

What To Do If You Find Termites

Termites can extensively damage your home, over time. Seek the assistance of a licensed termite control professional immediately. If you live in Norfolk, remember that HomeTown Pest Control is always standing by to help you protect your health and property from harmful pests. Let our team of pest control experts guide you in choosing the right termite control options for your home and budget. 

Tags: termite control | termite identification |

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