What Are The 7 Signs Of Termite In A Home?

Have you ever had signs of termite in a home belonging to you or someone else but are not sure? Here is a list of early signs of termite in a home.

First, we will let you know what termites are and how to identify them, followed by how to inspect them in your home without the help of a pest exterminator.

It is more like DIY pest control. Let’s go!


How To Identify Termite in a Home

Signs Of Termite In A Home
Picture of an Infesting Termites

Termites are winged insects that exist in colonies and mainly feed on wood and plant matter. The presence of termites is a serious cause for alarm because they feed on dead and decaying plant material, which includes wood used in house construction.

They are even scarier because you might not even detect their infestation until their damage has begun. Termites can fit in as pests because they can destroy homes. Also, they can wear down trees, shrubs, and other vegetation on your property. Nevertheless, they are still useful; they help in breaking down old, dead trees.

Termites exist in significant social groups called colonies. These colonies are practically eating all day, like 24 hours straight up, every day. Termites are not just bountiful; they dominate.

They also differ, as there are approximately 2,000 recognized species on Earth. There are over forty different species in the United States alone.

Just like every other insect, termites have body segments and six legs. Some of them do have wings, and these wings are of the same length. They are often mistaken for ants.

But one can tell the difference because an ant’s front wings are longer than its hind wings, and also because an ant’s antenna bends at a right angle while that of a thermite comes straight out of its head.

Termites are ¼ to ½ inch in length, though some king and queen termites of some species are much longer, maybe a full inch.

Termites are small, but will be said to be small but mighty; the entire weight of all termites is much more than the entire weight of humans on earth. But they are not harmful to humans.

The winged termites, which are the swarmers of the colony, are charged with the duty of reproducing and creating new termite colonies.

Worker termites are sterile and cannot reproduce. They have the task of working. They are the major class of the colony and have the critical task of feeding the colony.

These are the sets in your walls feeding away. The swarmers outside your house pose no problem, but having swarmers in your house that can be detected by their fallen wings is a big problem because it means you are dealing with a well-established colony.


Read also: What do Termites Look Like? Termite Facts & Identification


How To Inspect For Termite in a Home

Termites are of different types. And to make it easier, their names will relate to what they eat and where they inhabit.

First, we will look at the damp wood termites; they are some of the largest termites. Just as the name suggests, they feed on moist or damp wood, and they also prefer to dwell very close to the ground.

There are no workers in their colonies, and they cause no damage because the wood in houses is just too dry for their liking. They are mostly seen in basements or bathrooms.

We also have dry wood termites. They form colonies of about two thousand five hundred (2,500) individuals. Similar to damp wood termites, dry wood termites have no workers in their colonies.

They would rather have what we can call false workers. They are juvenile termites that perform the duties of workers, which include feeding the colony and caring for eggs.

Unlike damp wood termites, these sets can cause serious damage to your house because they feed on dry wood, wallpaper, plastics, fabrics made from plant material, etc.

Some of their hideouts include the beams, walls, attics, and other structural components of your house. Drywood termites are known to live on furniture and can feed on books.


What are the Signs of Termite in a Home?

What are the possible signs of termite infestation in a home? Detecting a pest issue in your home can be overwhelming. But it is not as bad as having a pest issue and not knowing about it.

You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your family and home from pest infestations, especially termite infestations.

These obscure, unwanted house guests can skillfully cause damage that can take billions to redeem. To keep termites away, you need to be vigilant and attentive. Look out for signs of it and stop its infestation before it is too late.

Although termites are very difficult to detect, here are some signs of termite in a home:

1. Headbanging:

One notable sign of termites is a quiet clicking sound in the walls. Soldier termites are known to bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies to notify the other termites of the impending danger in the colony.

The worker termites are known for eating woodwork, and they are very noisy eaters. When you put your ears against any remote-infested wood, you get to hear them munching away.

Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer, made mention of this noisy eating habit 2,000 years ago.

Termites, being sensitive tiny things, tend to detect vibrations and noises with various organs found at the base of their antennae and on their tibia; this is one of the segments of their legs.

According to findings by some scientists at Australia’s CSIRO, termites can tell the size of wood by using vibrations to measure it from inside. Something humans cannot do. They are indeed phenomenal creatures.

2. Wings Left Behind

The discovery of tons of discarded wings behind the doors and windows is another sign that you might be having these unwanted guests. During spring, near well-lit, warm areas, termites swarm in. They thereafter shed their wings.

These you might mistake for flying ants, but mind you, termites have specific differences. They have the same size of wings and are not segmented while flying ants do not have the same size of wings and are segmented.

Read also: Top 7 Signs of Pest Infestation in Rental Properties

  1. Hollow Wood:

Termites cause obvious damage that can be easily identified by simply knocking on any wooden structure in your home.

The hollow sound or punctured wood is always there to give it away. You often see cracks on surfaces, splits, and other serious damage. They often create galleries or tunnels within the wood.

4. Mud Structures and Tubes:

Subterranean termites preferably stay in moist areas so they create mud tubes to get around. The Discovery of these tube-like mud structures indicates that you may have a termite problem.

Termites create these tubes from moist soil to enable their movement from their colony to their food source. You can spot them around your home on hard surfaces or even your foundation.

It’s very important to make checks for these mud tubes around your home. Termites get around in these mud tunnels.

5. Swollen Panels on the Floor or Walls:

Another sign to look out for is raised floorboards or bumps in the wall. Often masking water damage. A swollen panel is not a good sign.

These creatures live below the wood surface, which causes panels to swell. It can make paint peel. If you are sure it is not water damage, then it might be a termite problem.

6. Discovering Termite Bodies:

Seeing these creatures dead or alive is a sure sign of a termite infestation. Unfortunately, seeing just one of them can spell doom. Though you might mistake them for ants, there are no white ants.

7. Spotting Pellets Or Droppings:

Another way to detect these creatures is by finding their droppings. Drywood termites often leave behind small, wood-coloured pellets. These can be found anywhere.

Termites like to keep their areas clean. They do that by removing their excrement from their path. Their droppings usually have the appearance of sawdust or coffee grounds.


What are the Signs of Termite Damage?

  • Tiny, spike holes in drywall
  • Tiles weakening from the increased moisture termites tend to introduce to your floor
  • Deteriorating, damaged wood
  • Clasped windows and doors
  • Puzzle-like patterns on furniture, floorboards, and walls.


What are the Signs of Termite Damage in Drywalls?

Holes split, and cavities on the walls can infer the presence of termites. Walls are extremely vulnerable to termite damage because they are accessible from the ground and their surface area is large enough.

Common signs that indicate termite damage to the drywall include the following:

  • Small pinholes indicate termite feeding.
  • As termites tunnel through drywall, they leave behind faint lines on it. This is done by subterranean termites. Drywood termites do not leave soil marks behind.
  • Hollow sounds when you tap against the wall.
  • Paint bubbling or peeling
  • Crumbling of baseboards at the slightest pressure.
  • Stiffened doors or windows. Termites tend to damage structural components, which causes the house to settle or shift in a way that affects the doors and windows.


Read also: What are the Main Causes of Termites in Your Home?



Knowing the early signs of termite in a home can help curb their spread and save you and your family from the impending danger.

Even when caught early, getting rid of termites can still be difficult. Taking control of the situation, however, can save you thousands of dollars in property damage.

With termite infestations, the best course of action may be to consult a pest control expert. If you suspect you may have an infestation, do not hesitate. Learn the signs and take care of your termite problem today.

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