We bought this house in late October. This is the conversation that occurred the following May.
Jessie: You know, there are a lot of ants in this house this year.
Jeff: Well, we do have a toddler who hides Cheerios under all the large appliances.
Jessie: Yeah, but why do these ants have wings? And why are they all coming out of that new hole in the dining room floor?
That was when it dawned on us that we had termites. Those little buggers ate through a good 5 feet of a 6x8 inch beam that was supporting the threshold between 2 rooms. We treated the beams that showed activity as well as had a termite company put traps around the house, but we hadn't yet replaced that portion of the beam.
We found other areas of termite damage nearby when we opened up the kitchen and the basement walls, and we rebuilt those supports. But we still had to figure out what to do about the bouncy floor between our dining room and TV room, which I might add, is a very high-traffic doorway.
This weekend found Jeff and our neighbor Jon ( Superman ) standing with a Sawsall above their heads sawing off the useless beam.
You can see how much damage was done, because Jeff is holding this piece of wood as if it weighs nothing. And no, he's not freakishly strong. That wood did weigh practically nothing.
Closeup of the damage:
Here's the finished work, with a new beam in place and new supports.
Now, off to find the wire strippers. We realized this afternoon that Jeff managed to cut through the phone line in all the saws-all-ing excitement.