If you’ve been lately noticing an unusual smell around your home, and wondering what it is and where it’s coming from, you have the right to be suspicious! Especially if you’re already started seeing some other signs of a termite infestation, you should be more vigilant.
Many homeowners don’t know whether it is possible to actually smell termites in a house. So, if you’ve found yourself in such a situation, don’t skip this article, keep reading to get answers to your questions!
In fact, termites give off an odor that’s unpleasant to our senses. However, their odor is not that pungent so it can penetrate through walls, ceilings, and floors, therefore, you simply can’t rely on the smell these pests produce to know if they are present.
Because of termite activities, from the mud tunnels they build through to the fecal pellets they leave behind, it’s no surprise that these insects carry an odor around with them.
A termite infestation is likely to resemble the smell of moisture, mold, mildew, or damp vegetation. This is because many species of termites live underground and in moist environments like mud tunnels or damp wood and dark places with little to no sunlight. They therefore tend to smell the same way as their surroundings. For this reason, a termite infestation may initially be mistaken for water damage.
Termites do not produce any particular smell such as that of lemon or citronella. So if you can smell these kind of citrus scents, you might confuse swarming termites with species of citronella ants.
Also, termites release small particles into the air that can cause respiratory problems like allergies and asthma. You might also be inhaling dust from the air that’s coming from the termite-damaged wood in your house.
On the other hand, when you kill subterranean or drywood termites, or have dead termites in your home, their corpses do not smell. It’s because their exoskeletons typically dry out and harden after death. For this reason, these insects don’t emit the characteristic smell of rotting flesh.
If you spot little piles of insect droppings next to a small hole in the wall, there’s a high chance you have a termite infestation in your home. Their droppings look like piles of coffee grounds and tend to smell like mildew or mold.
Apart from the musty smell, the droppings themselves are not harmful to humans, they do not pose a serious threat to health. However, they should be handled and cleaned up carefully, preferably by an experienced professional. This is because inhaling dust from termite feces or wood dust can cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis or asthma attacks.
The presence of termites may not be as obvious as one would think. In fact, termites could be invading for months or even years, and gradually eating away the structure of your house, and you might not even realize it until more obvious signs appear.
Therefore, if you smell some unfamiliar odors, inspect your house thouroughly to find out where they are coming from. You may discover that the source is a termite infestation.
Damage caused by termite infestations are known to emit a musty or fungal odor, similar to mold or mildew.
In general, an area that’s damp or moist is associated with this type of smell because there is decaying timber or other rotting wooden materials in this area which these pests aim for. You might then think the smell coming from the area is as a result of termite damage to the targeted food source. But the smell might be emanating from the termites themselves or odor-filled debris that they have brought with them and left behind.
Now you might be wondering what to do if you smell termites and how to get rid of this smell. You might also be concerned about a potential infestation.
For temporary results, essential oils such as tea tree oil and others come in handy. When dealing with a small termite colony, mix 5 to 10 drops per gallon of water and spray the mixture directly onto their territory.
However, you would really need to have the place inspected by a pest control expert, even if it only means ruling out the possibility of a termite infestation. If you do believe you have an infestation, it is recommended to consult a specialist and have this area checked as it might save you thousands in repair costs.
For our knowledgeable termite control experts at Chem Free Exterminating in Orange County, California, the problem often starts when homeowners contact us when they notice a damp musty smell, or when they see a swarm of termites ready to fly off to establish their new colonies.
So if you suspect anything that might be termite related, then call our team today and let us help.