Ceiling Infestation And Damage By Termites

August 18, 2021

Termites are herbivorous insects that consume cellulose within wood and other organic materials. They mainly infest wooden structures like ceilings. Ceiling damage by termites looks like light water damage. The affected ceilings usually sag and buckle. Such damage may cost you lots of time and money to repair. That is why it is good to stop an infestation early before it becomes widespread.

Which Termites Infest Ceilings?

Drywood termites and subterranean termites are the most common ceiling termites. Subterranean termites require soil to thrive and make mud tubes that they use to move up the wall on their way to the ceiling. Drywood termites have wings and usually fly into houses through the available entrances and occupy the attic. Both of these termites feed on wooden ceilings leading to severe structural damage. Therefore, take immediate action to exterminate them on noticing mud tubes or fallen wings.

Signs Of Termites In Ceiling

Knowing how to identify a termite infestation in your ceilings is essential. To get started, here are some of the signs to look out for:

1. Ceiling Cracks

When termites invade your ceilings, they may cause ceiling cracks as a result of wood damage.

2. Termite Droppings

Termites usually leave behind light brown faecal pellets known as frass. As they clean their nests, they push the droppings out into your house.

3. Termite Holes In Ceiling

Termites eat the ceiling along with its wood grain, causing holes. The eaten ceiling will sound hollow when you tap it.

4. Termite Tubes Hanging From Ceiling

Subterranean termites create mud tubes as they climb a wall or foundation. The mud tube is made of soil and small pieces of wood. It helps protect them from dryness and predators while travelling between the nest and a food source. Once you notice termite tubes hanging from your ceiling, know that termites have already infested your ceilings. Even worse, they are chewing on your roof trusses. In the case of drywood termites, you will find discarded wings piled around your attic and other parts of your home. Other signs of termites in your ceilings include:

  • Loose roof tiles or roof shingles.
  • Discolouration that looks like water damage on your ceilings. 
  • Sagging or buckling in your ceilings.
  • Presence of dead or live termites around your house.

How To Differentiate Ceiling Termites From Ants

Winged termites look similar to winged ants but differ in certain aspects. Termites have four wings of equal length that are longer compared to those of ants. Their bodies are also more rounded, with a more pronounced waist and body segmentation. Likewise, you can recognise termites with their straight antennae, while those of ants are L-shaped.

How To Eliminate Termites In The Ceiling

It is advisable to hire an expert termite control company to assess termite ceiling damage. More importantly, they will detect the culprits and help get rid of them immediately and thoroughly. Anyway, there are DIY methods you can put into effect to exterminate ceiling termites.

  • Liquid Termite Barrier – Spray it around the house, mainly targeting the ceilings. It will kill the existing termites when they come in contact with it. Besides killing termites, termite barriers act as a repellent preventing more termites from invading your home.
  • Poisoned Bait – If the termite barrier is too strong and you have kids or pets, a poisoned bait is a good alternative. Termites eat the bait and spread it to others, consequently eliminating the rest of the colony quickly.
  • Boric Acid and Diatoms – Boric acid is less toxic, meaning it is safe to use at home. Alternatively, you can use diatoms which are tiny aquatic organisms. Diatoms are an effective organic way to eliminate termites.

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