How To Identify Termite Activity In Your Pittsburgh Home

Lighten your homeowner’s mind with these 6 ways to detect termite activity in your home or call Pestco for the most effective termite control service!


Termites are the smallest, yet most destructive, wood-destroying insects on Earth.

Each infestation is serious and requires the immediate attention of pest control and pest maintenance experts.

Over 2,700 termite species are found around the world.

Although they somewhat resemble ants and often compete with them for territory, they differ mainly because they feed on wood.

Sometimes, colonies of ants and ants located near each other will go to war, fighting over territory and food sources.

These are highly organized campaigns conducted by the soldier nations of each respective colony.

warm colony

Warm lifestyles are similar to those of ants. They live in underground colonies where labor is divided.

Soldier termites protect the colony and comprise 1/3 of the population; The workers, who are the most numerous caste, do the most damage by eating wood and building tunnels.

The queen or king of a termite colony can live up to ten years and are at the breeding center of the population.

Subterranean termites are most damaging to wood, and they cause significant property damage in both homes and businesses.

Their daily activities can often destroy entire structures because they are not easily detected “until the job is done”.

That’s why it’s so important for our pest-control and pest-management professionals at Pestco Professional Services to spot the signs of a weevil infestation before it’s too late to do much about it.

Termite infestation

Some painful statistics about termites

According to recent staggering statistics, termites cause nearly $5 billion in property damage and repair costs in both private residences and commercial spaces each year.

More than 4 million homes and businesses within the United States are at risk of infestation each year.

This figure is even more staggering when considering termite damage to building structures and crops, amounting to $30 billion.

If you’re a Pittsburgh homeowner unfortunate enough to suffer from a termite infestation, on average you can spend $8,333 to exterminate them and repair the damage they cause!

Termites feed constantly, making them the most destructive pest species found in the United States.

Subterranean termites

This species has been on earth for over 55 million years.

Social insects, they live in colonies and work together, unlike roaches or grasshoppers who are solitary and work only for themselves.

They get their name from where they nest; Namely, underground, where they make tunnels known as mud tubes.

These structures protect them from the open air and allow access to food sources, especially cellulose.

They eat only soft wood, which is composed of soil or mud, causing layered damage. Unlike other warm-blooded species, they feed with the grain and not against it.

A single colony of subterranean termites consists of 60,000 to 1 million termites and can forage up to 150 feet in search of food.

Professional help from expert pest-control and pest-management technicians is needed to both eliminate infestations and prevent another one from arising.

6 Ways to Detect Termite Activity in Your Home

Below are common signs of termite damage in your home.

Listen to them carefully, and if you suspect you have one or more of the indications, contact our team at Pestco immediately!

Blocked windows or doors

Termites target locations such as window and door frames, where the wood is exposed and easy to access.

Once termites start eating through the wood, it can warp your window and door frames, making it difficult to open or close them properly.

Damage under paint or wallpaper

Termites create tunnels (aka termite galleries, mud tubes) and small pin holes while feeding on cardboard and wood paneling beneath the surface of a home’s walls.

Identify termite activity in your home

This damage is often difficult to detect because warm surfaces can accomplish this without disturbing the thin coating of paint or wallpaper.

Usually, this damage is first noticed during home repairs and renovations.

Search carefully for signs under the surface of the painting or paper such as: small pinholes where termites have eaten, bubbling paint; buckling wood; Dented or sunken areas and peeling or discolored wall paper.

Termite swarms and discarded wings

This is an unmistakable sign that a Pittsburgh home is infested with termites. Flock Flock Flock Flock Flock Flock Flock Flock Flock Flock Flock

Their pale-colored, two pairs of large wings make them easily identifiable.

Once a swarm leaves the colony and mates, it sheds its wings. Like moths, they are attracted to light and are often seen circling near doors and windows.

mud tube

Our teams are well-acquainted with mud tubes, which resemble narrow veins running along the side of a dwelling.

They start deep in the soil and run into open wooded areas.

Termite tube

These tubes protect them from drying air and allow safe passage from the colony to the food source.

Termite droppings

Also known as “frass”, this is another definite indication of termite activity, although it is only seen in dry wood termites.

Subterranean termites produce a liquid-like frass that makes it nearly impossible to separate. Homeowners should rely on other indications.

Beware of sawdust piles

Woodpecker piles are a sure sign that a residence is infested with termites. The problem is that by the time they become visible, serious damage is usually done.

Some helpful termite prevention tips

Pittsburgh homeowners should adhere to the following tips, which come from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

Consider termite prevention a year-round issue

Homeowners should be prepared for professional inspections by pest-management and pest-control experts at least once every three to five years.

This is very important because wood-boring insect damage is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies.

Keep things dry

Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and outdoor air conditioning units. Maintain well-ventilated and dry basements, attics and crawl spaces. Direct water away from the home through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.

Avoid giving shelter

Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground. Place mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.

Protect wood surfaces

Maintain an 18-inch gap between the ground and the woodwork of your home.

Call Pestco for Pittsburgh Termite Control!

Our professionals at Pestco have been providing effective pest control and pest management solutions throughout Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and the Virginia Panhandle since 1948.

Over the years, we have built a superior customer service reputation and we serve many high-profile commercial accounts as well as the residential community.

We understand that no one product ever fits all techniques and situations and we only use products that are environmentally friendly and promote carbon footprint policies that will insure a green planet for future generations.

Pestco Professional Services Truck

Our technicians are highly trained and experienced, and we take the time to educate their clients on what they can do to reduce the risk of termites returning.

And our course, we welcome questions and always offer helpful answers!

In conclusion

If you’re a Pittsburgh homeowner dealing with termites, call our team today and let us help you get rid of the problem and advise you on how to prevent future infestations!


Some more little-known facts about termites

Insects can be nutritious food

Termites are rich in iron, calcium, fatty and amino acids and protein, making them a hearty meal for both desperate and unsuspecting hearts.

Termites never sleep

Insects live in their colonies for an average of 24 hours, every day, until they die.

Soldier and reproductive termite races are blind and cannot feed themselves

These species spend their lives on the fringes of dark, damp colonies and rely on worker wee to feed them by regurgitating digested cellulose in their mouths.

The estimated combined weight of each termite on Earth would be 445 million tons

Compared to and given the same space for humans, collectively we would weigh 350 million tons.

Termites are beneficial to the environment

Despite causing serious damage to all types of structures, termites contribute to the health of our forests and soil decomposition.

They break down tough plant fibers and recycle dead and decaying plants into new soil.


Photo credit: Pestco, Flickr and Pixabay

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