Out of all the places, why would termites be in my bathroom!?
It may come as a surprise, but bathrooms have all the conditions that allow a termite infestation. These pests need three basic things to thrive – wood, moisture, and warmth. A bathroom provides all these things to termites 24/7. That’s also why once they are inside your bathroom, getting rid of them can be challenging.
However, there are many ways to encounter the problem of termites in your bathroom. All your questions about the signs, damages, and prevention measures against bathroom termite infestation will be answered in this article.
Why Would Termites Be In My Bathroom?
Termites are one of the most damaging insects your bathroom can encounter. If your bathroom is infested with termites, there can be several reasons behind this occurrence. The most common ones are:
Wood Walls and Ceilings
The interior framing in the bathroom walls and ceilings are mostly made of wood. If your bathroom has the same features, there is a high probability that it attracted the termites in the first place.
Leaking Pipes and Faucets
Water is one of the necessities for termites to retain moisture in their bodies. Bathrooms are more prone to issues of leaking pipes and faucets. It may not seem like a significant issue at the time, but it creates the perfect environment for termites, increasing the likelihood of infestation.
Bathtubs and Showers
Another significant reason why termites target your bathroom is because of the moisture sources and damp places that it provides. The bathrooms are regularly used for bathing and showering, which creates a constantly humid environment, luring the termites to nest there.
Cracks and Crevices
If your bathroom has hidden cracks and crevices, they also provide a great home to the termites. These gaps are so tiny that your naked eyes can’t spot them. Other times, these holes are located where you don’t have open access like congested spaces behind the sinks and bathtubs.
Faulted Ventilation System
Faulted ventilation systems play a major role in increasing the chances of termite infestation in bathrooms. When the steam does not leave your bathroom, it makes the overall environment even damper and humid, providing termites the ideal conditions to live in.
Signs of Termites In Your Bathroom
Looking for the signs of termite infestation in your bathroom can be challenging. To make the task simple, you can look for some notable tell-tale signs for termite infestation in bathrooms:
- Pipes penetration – When termites inhabit your property, one of the first indications is when they get into the water pipes. It might be beneficial if you regularly inspect your pipes for termite droppings or termites themselves.
- Mud tubes on your walls – Mud tubes are another indicator of termite infestation. Termite mud tubes allow them to travel from one location to another as they search for food.
- Termite wings around the damp areas – If you see termite wings in your bathroom’s damp areas, it’s an indication that termites have invaded.
- Sounds of swarming – If you hear buzzing noises in your bathroom, it’s a sure sign that termites have infested the space.
- Peeling paint that mostly resembles a water-damaged wall – One of the most significant signs of termite infestation is when you see peeling paint on the bathroom walls that look like water-damaged walls.
- Loose tiles in the walls and floor – Finding loose tiles in the bathroom walls and floors is another indication of termite infestation. The area behind these tiles has been hollowed out by these termites.
- Damaged wood baseboards that sound hollow when you tap them – When you discover damaged wood baseboards in your bathroom, one of the most telling indications of termite infestation is when they occur. The wood has been eaten away by termites, causing it to sound hollow when tapped.
- Termite droppings (tiny oval-shaped gray capsules) – Finding termite droppings in your bathroom is another indication of termite infestation. These are tiny oval-shaped gray capsules that termites leave behind.
- Increase in cracks on the wall – If you discover a lot of cracks on the bathroom walls, it’s an indication that termites have infested the region. The wood has been eaten away by termites, causing the cracks.
- Bubbling paint – It’s a good idea to have the bathrooms in your home inspected for termites at least once every two years. If you see bubbling paint in your bathroom, it’s an indication that termites have infested the area and are eating away at the wood.
- Saggy ceiling – If you notice a sagging ceiling in your bathroom, it’s an indication that termites have infested the location. The wood has been eaten away by termites, causing the ceiling to sag.
- Jammed windows and doors – It’s a sure sign that termites have infested the region if your bathroom windows and doors are blocked. The wood has been gnawed away by termites, resulting in the windows and doors becoming jammed.
These signs are a clear indication of termite infestation in your bathroom. If you observe these symptoms in your bathroom, you should promptly act on it by following some preventive measures.
How Do The Termites Damage Bathrooms?
If you don’t take immediate action and leave the termites to infest your bathroom, your bathroom can suffer from severe damages, such as:
Most of the time, termites enter your bathroom through the outer pipes from the soil. That’s why faulted pipes may also be the first thing you notice when there is a termite infestation in your bathroom. The termites make small holes in the pipes, making it hollow. When left unattended for a while, you will come to observe a little too late that your bathroom plumbing needs to be renewed because of the extreme damage.
When termites start eating the wood in your bathroom, it will gradually become weak. The termite-infested wood will be termite droppings. If the termites aren’t removed on time, they will continue to damage your bathroom and weaken its structure, which can lead to a disastrous collapse.
Walls and Ceilings
Termites usually reside in the wall holes and cracks as it provides them the ideal living conditions in the bathroom. They can make massive colonies behind the walls and ceilings. As these insects tend to eat all day, you can only imagine the destruction they can cause inside the walls without your notice.
However, there comes a time when you see their ultimate damages in the form of saggy ceilings, bubbling paint on the walls, and a rapid increase of tiny cracks and crevices. When you tap the wall in bathrooms, you hear a hollow sound from an otherwise solid-looking wall.
Loose or Detached Wall and Floor Tiles
Termites typically make their mud shelters on the walls or under the tiles. Although you can locate the mud tubes on the wall pretty easily, searching for them under the tiles is not something you can conveniently do.
When the forging termites create mud tubes under the tiled surface, the tiles come loose and sometimes even detach altogether if they are somewhat old. After the damage is done, you will not be able to repair the damage yourself because of its severity.
Bathtubs and Sinks
Termites don’t damage acrylic, porcelain-coated, or fiberglass items like bathtubs and sinks. However, they can do devastating damages to the wooden supports and beams that carry the weight of these items.
In many cases, the sinks fall off the wall when the termites destroy the wooden supports. Structural damages like these are inconvenient, and repairing them is difficult and expensive. That’s because accessing the infested areas near plumbing pipes is a challenge in itself.
How Do I Prevent Termites In My Bathroom?
Here are a few ways you can prevent the termites from infesting your bathroom, such as:
- Frequently checking the bathroom’s ventilation system. When the system does not work well, it increases the humidity level, which leads the termites to your bathroom.
- Repairing all the leaky pipes and faucets so that there is no excess moisture in the bathroom.
- Keeping the water from pooling around your property. Water puddles near outlet pipes can become sources of transportation for termites to the inside of your bathroom.
- Keeping the gutters around your home well-maintained. Clogged gutters near your house’ foundation can also be a source for termites to enter through the pipes.
- Receiving annual termite inspections will assist you in inspecting the termite situation in your bathroom, which will help you plan accordingly.
- Repainting the ceilings and walls in your bathroom to fill in the cracks and crevices that can become the homes to termites.
All-Time DIY Termite Treatment Formulas
There are many other chemical solutions you can use year-round to prevent your bathroom from termite infestation, including:
This ready-to-use pesticide foam can be used in the bathroom’s nooks and corners to prevent insect infestations, including those involving termites. There is no assembly required, which makes its operation extremely easy.
Ortho Home Defense Max
This product is a long-lasting bug barrier that prevents termites infestation without leaving any odor or stain in your bathroom. Ortho Home Defense Max will also eliminate the chances of other insects residing inside your bathroom.
Remember to use these products according to the given instructions on the boxes.
How Do I Kill the Termites In My Bathroom?
There are some chemical solutions you can use as baits to terminate the colony of termites. The bait is usually scattered around the areas that are infested with termites. The termites feed off the chemical-infused baits and die.
There are mainly three common types of chemical solutions that are approved for use in homes:
- Pesticides that are already infused in building materials to keep the termites away.
- Chemical pesticides to apply on wood surfaces to deter the termites.
- Liquid chemicals that are integrated with the soil to prevent termites in your house.
How Do I Get Rid of Termites Naturally?
If the termites are not too bad in your bathroom and you don’t want to use chemicals to get rid of them, you can use these natural methods to eradicate the termites:
- Open the windows in your bathroom in the daytime to let in the sunlight. Exposing a termite colony to sunlight usually kills them. However, if that’s not an option, you can use UV lights instead.
- You can also use the trick of wet cardboard traps to capture termites. You should place wet cardboard boxes where you suspect a termite colony. The termites will get inside the box to feed off cellulose, and once that happens, you can carry the box outside and set it on fire.
What Steps Should Be Taken After Bathroom Treatment?
The best way to deal with the termite infestation is to call a professional pest control agency. Although they get rid of the termites thoroughly, you should make sure the termites don’t return after the extermination.
To do that, you can keep a close check for the termites in the gaps and crevices, and keep your pipes and faucet leak-free. You can also use duct tapes to capture the remaining termites in your bathroom by placing it near places where the termites were nested before.