Termites can cause extensive damage if not caught quickly. Look for these signs of termite damage if you have any suspicion of an infestation around your home.
Termite infestations are not uncommon and when they get out of hand, they can cost thousands of dollars worth of damage to a single property. As they set up camp and multiply, they can eat away at walls, burrow deep within carpets, and cause serious foundation damage to commercial and residential properties.
Image by Roy Buri
In many instances, the presence of termites isn’t even discovered until a lot of damage has already been done. This is why it’s so important to know how to spot signs of an infestation early on. Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs of termite damage on your property:
- A Swarm Sighting
One of the few instances in which a homeowner will actually see termites is when they notice a large swarm. Termite swarms can congregate both outdoors or indoor as they work to grow and establish a new colony. If you notice a swarm of termites inside or outside your property, don’t delay in seeking professional assistance. A swarm of termites is a good indicator that the infestation has already taken place.
- Discarded Wings
One of the first signs of a termite infestation is discarded wings. Termites shed their wings once the colony matures and settles in and as they do so, you may notice piles of wings. You might find these wings in light-filled spaces including window sills, in spider webs, or along with doorways. If you notice several sets of termite wings, you might have a termite problem on your hands.
- You Find “Mud Tubes”
Some breeds of termites (subterranean termites specifically), make tubes out of the mud to help them travel easily from their food source to the soil and back again. When you have a termite infestation, you might find some of these mud tubes leading from the ground into your home. The tubes are skinny and damp and most frequently spotted around the foundation of a home.
- Termite Droppings
Termite droppings, or “frass”, are a major sign of a termite infestation. Termites like to nest inside wood and part of their nesting process includes eating the wood and discarding droppings and they create tunnels. These droppings are very small, no more than a millimeter in length, and look a lot like sawdust.
You might find scattered droppings indoors or outdoors near wood structures or piles of wood. If you see termite droppings, it’s time to have the place professionally inspected.
- Faint Clicking Sounds in the Walls
Other signs of termite damage include weird clicking noises coming from inside the walls. Soldier termites actually bang their heads against the wood when they’re setting up their colonies. They might also shake their bodies to warn other termites of danger.
If you’re hearing any kind of strange noises coming from within the walls, don’t hesitate to call a professional exterminator. You can also set up termite baiting systems inside the walls to get rid of them. Learn more here on how termite baiting works.
- Damage to the Outside of the Property
Other indicators of a termite presence on the property include outdoor damages. You might start to notice damaged trees on your land. Trees that are being eaten by termites from the inside out are a hazard as they can fall unexpectedly and cause further damage or injury.
You might also notice small holes or wood shavings in or near your trees where termites are chewing their way into the bark. You can search for a colony near the base of a tree by digging just beneath the soil line. If you see dead termites, discarded wings, or living termites, it’s time to take action.
- Signs of Termite Damage Includes Bubbling or Uneven Paint
If the paint on your interior or exterior walls, on your railings or banister, or on your shutters seems to be uneven or bubbling, you either have water damage or a termite infestation. Termites can disrupt the painted surface of any wood structure that they’re eating away at inside.
- Damage to Exterior Wood
Beware of rotting, exposed wood near or on your property. These exposed pieces of wood are enticing to termites who love nothing more than moisture-damaged wood for burrowing and setting up a colony.
You might see this damaged wood on the trees surrounding your property, on discarded stumps nearby, on your wooden porch, in your eaves, and so on. If you notice damaged or rotting wood on your property, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a termite inspection.
- Any Indoor Sightings
A termite infestation can begin both outdoors or indoors. If you notice a flying termite anywhere inside your home, it may have gotten in through cracks in the foundation or through the soil beneath your house. Any sighting of a termite inside, even if you only notice one or two, should result in a call to a trusted exterminator.
Pests Are Always a Problem
Hopefully, these common signs of termite damage can help you spot a possible infestation before it becomes overwhelming. Thankfully there are many extermination tools available to help homeowners get rid of termites without too much damage occurs.
There are many kinds of pests that can wreak havoc on your home. Learn more about other common pests and how to protect your property by reading our other helpful posts on pests, extermination, and landscape maintenance.
Be sure to check back often for new content that can guide you on keeping your home beautiful, safe, and pest-free!