Quietly tearing through floors, walls, and wood, termites can cause extreme damage before you discover them in your home. In fact, termites are considered one of the most destructive wood pests in the U.S., causing billions in damage each year, and impacting upwards of one in four homes.
Being aware of telltale signs of termite activity can help you recognize an infestation more quickly and get the pest control assistance you need. Even better, Black Diamond, an experienced company in your area, can help you be proactive to prevent a termite infestation, saving you time, hassle and money.
Interested in learning more? Follow along to find out the 8 most common signs you may have termite activity in your home.
8 Common Signs of Termite Activity
- Swarmers. A cloud of small, winged bugs entering or exiting your home could be a group of “swarmer” termites. Coming out of wood, floors, and exposed walls, they will normally be in or around the building’s foundation. It takes several years for a termite colony to grow large enough to produce swarmers–meaning that if you see them, there’s most definitely an infestation inside.
- Discarded Wings and Dead Bugs. A pile of discarded wings in windowsill or dead swarmers are a good indication of a termite population. Termites are often reddish-brown in color with large translucent wings. They are distinct in physical appearance from ants.
- Frass. Buildup of termite feces, or “frass”, is a pretty strong gauge of infestation. Frass may resemble a pile of pellets or be sand-like. Frass may be close to points of entry, tunnels, or hollow wood.
- Shelter Tubes. Termites build moist passages on exterior surfaces to avoid exposure to sunlight, air, wind and any drying elements. These tubes are quite distinct, made of hardened soil and dirt, and they range from light brown to red in color. Breaking off a section of tube will often reveal the termites travelling inside.
- Mud Spots. When cutting through wood, termites often accidentally go too far, exposing themselves to the outside. To fix this, termites place “pinholes” or small spots of mud that cover up the point of exposure. You may notice a number of spots of dried, round mud on an external surface.
- Tunnels Along Grain. Given time, termites create complex tunnel systems in wood. Visible channels are honeycomb-like in design. Most of these passages remain unseen–under floors, between walls–so you may spot one while remodeling or opening up a formerly-confined space. Spotting termite tunnels is a telltale sign of infestation.
- Hollow Wood. Notice a springiness, frailty, or hollow sound when you touch a wood-surface in your home? Termite activity is possible, especially if this surface appeared to be stable or sturdier in the past. There may also be visible tunnels, termites, or frass around this wood as well.
- Lines in wallpaper. Another visible sign of infestation is long, sunken lines in wallpaper. The lines may initially look like water damage or dents, but organized in structure, intricate and connected. This indicates termite passages are right below the surface. Termites often eat through wood paneling and thin cardboard-like substances right below the wallpaper.
Don’t wait. It’s critical to contact a licensed pest control professional as soon as you experience any of these signs. There are a variety of other species of Wood Destroying Insects and in most cases you need to be trained and experienced in order to correctly identify them. Determining the correct species is crucial for choosing the correct plan of action and treatment process.
While you may find that there are a number of services offering pest eradication, make sure you choose a qualified company that has the expertise and tools necessary to rid your home or business of termites.