Unfortunately Termites are usually very hard to see until they've had a significant impact on a structure. At this point, you will be able to easily penetrate affected surfaces, as it's not uncommon for Termites to devour wood right until they reach paint. If you do experience this, you should seek guidance from your preferred pest manager as soon as possible, especially if there has been no recorded Termite activity in that area of the house previously.
Before this happens though, there are a few things you can check it for yourself.
Where to check outside:
- Examine the foundation of the house, garage and other structures for shelter tubes coming from the soil.
- Pay particular attention to attached porches, connecting patios, sidewalks, areas near kitchens or bathrooms and narrowly confined or hard-to-see places.
- Check the soil moisture around or under the foundation to determine if faulty grade construction creates moist areas next to the structure.
- Check window and door frames and where utilities (air conditioning pipes, gas and electric services) enter the structure for termite infestation or wood decay.
- Observe roof eaves and guttering closely for defects that might cause leakage and eventual wood rot. Inspect behind closely planted, dense shrubbery or foliage.
- Note particularly any earth-to-wood contact such as fences, stair carriages or trellises.
- Open and examine any exterior electrical meter or fuse boxes set into the walls, a common point for infestation.
- Carefully inspect wood materials next to swimming pools that may be splashed frequently by watering in paint or wallboard surfaces. Discoloration or staining on walls or ceilings may indicate water leaks that can decay wood and aid termite infestation. Especially inspect where plumbing or utility pipes enter the foundation or flooring
Where to check inside:
- Probe or carefully sound exterior porches, doors and window facings, baseboards, and hardwood flooring. Be careful not to deface finished wood when probing.
- Carefully examine any attached earth-filled porches.
- Examine all known or suspected joints, cracks or expansion joints in the foundation and unusual blistering in paint or wallboard surfaces. Discoloration or staining on walls or ceilings may indicate water leaks that can decay wood and aid termite infestation. Especially inspect where plumbing or utility pipes enter the foundation or flooring.
- Check the floor covering for raised or split areas.
- Carefully examine the plumbing, particularly in bathrooms on slab construction. There should be access to the bath trap area. If none exists, build a removable plumbing hatch for periodic inspection.
- Examine the roof space for shelter tubes, water leakage, wood rot or damaged wood.
- If the house is of pier and beam construction, thoroughly inspect the area between the floor and the underlying soil. Examine the inside of the beams, chimney bases, hearths or piers for shelter tubes. Crawl-space construction should have a minimum of 18-inch clearance between floor joists and the underlying soil, and at least 12 inches between floor beams and the soil.
- Look carefully at the top of the foundation wall where the floor and the wall intersect.
- Closely examine plumbing and utility lines passing through the floor of foundation walls.