Updated: Jul 30
Finding signs of termites in your home is always a troubling discovery. But if you don’t know what to look for, these signs can be easy to miss. Whether you are concerned about buying a house with termites in it or you are wondering whether your home needs a Wood Destroying Organisms inspection, here are five signs that you can look for to determine whether or not you are dealing with a termite problem.
Sign #1: Sounds Coming from Your Walls Despite being quite small, termites are rather noisy creatures. Both soldier termites and worker termites are known for making very specific sounds – sounds that you might be able to hear inside your walls if you listen closely enough. When soldier termites sense danger, they bang their heads noisily against the wall in order to warn the colony of the threat. The result is a clicking sound that is often audible to those living in the home. Meanwhile, worker termites are quite noisy eaters, and the sound they make as they munch away at the wood in your walls can often be detectable by the average ear as well. If you hear strange clicking or crunching sounds coming from your walls, it’s a good sign that you might need to contact a termite inspector.
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Sign #2: Spotting Flying Termites If you are wondering what a termite looks like, the answer may vary. It turns out that there are several different types of termites that make up a termite colony. Some will remain hidden within your walls for their entire lives. Others, however, are more likely to be spotted.
The type of termite that you are most likely to notice around your home is the flying termite. These winged termites are responsible for branching out and forming new colonies, and are therefore a lot more likely to explore beyond the confines of your walls. If you notice an ant-like creature that is winged and white in color, it’s probably a flying termite – which means that a termite colony has probably taken up residence in your home.
It’s also worth noting that it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between carpenter ants vs. termites. While carpenter ants can be a pesky problem in their own right, these ants do not eat wood like termites do, and are reddish-black in color as opposed to the whitish color of termites.
Sign #3: Termite Droppings Like all living creatures, termites leave waste behind. Termite droppings – known as frass – appear either as small black marks or a powdery black substance around the surface of the area that the termites are infesting. Since termites push their droppings to the end of their tunnels, these droppings are often very noticeable. In fact, termite droppings are often one of the first things that a termite inspector will look for during a termite inspection. If you notice any black marks or black powdery substances on your walls, these could be signs of termites that have formed a colony in your home.
Pro Tip: If your home inspector finds termites in your home, we recommend contacting Imperial Pest Prevention to eliminate your termite problem and ensure your home remains termite-free.
Sign #4: Hollow Sounding Timber Termites always tunnel into wood and consume it from the inside out. This means that if termites have consumed a piece of timber in your home, the timber will be hollowed out with the outside surface still mostly intact. If you tap along the beams in your walls, you may be able to notice whether or not any of them have been hollowed out by termites based on the sound that your tapping makes. If the beams in your walls sound hollow when tapped, rather than solid, it’s a good sign that you are dealing with a termite infestation.
Sign #5: Tunnels in Wood The tunnels that termites make in wood as they borough toward its center can be difficult to spot since the wood in your walls isn’t typically exposed. However, if you find a broken piece of wood in or around your home that has tunnels running through it, it’s a surefire sign that termites are present in your home.
Pro Tip: After a professional termite inspection by Imperial Pest Prevention, you’ll receive a written proposal of the inspection results and treatment options. Your Imperial Pest Prevention inspector can answer any questions or concerns you have about the different treatments. These tunnels are not hard to miss if you are actually able to observe the wood itself. However, in most cases, tunnels in wood remain one of the more difficult to notice signs of termites given that the wood in your walls is obscured by drywall.
What to Do If You Notice Signs of Termites in Your Home If you notice any signs that termites might be living in your home and eating away at your walls, it is essential to contact professional home inspectors as soon as possible. The longer you allow your termite problem to go unaddressed, the more damage the termites will cause. Since termite colonies send out winged termites to form new colonies, waiting to deal with the problem could also mean that even more new termite colonies spring up inside your home. Whether you are purchasing a new home and want to make sure that you are not buying a house with termites or you are concerned that you might have a termite problem in your current home, we are able to help. If you would like to learn more about our proven termite inspection process, contact us today at 386-383-3270.
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Our Preferred Pest Control Companies If your Dream Home Inspector finds signs of termites or other pests in your home, here’s who we’ll recommend you call:
Imperial Pest Prevention