It’s important to know the signs of termites and how to identify termite tunnels in wood because an infestation can cause serious structural damage that is costly to repair. To prevent termite damage, familiarize yourself with these 5 signs of termites in your home and learn how to find evidence of termites.
1. Flying Insects and Shed Wings
Once the last freeze of winter has passed, you might start to see swarms of winged termites. These are termites that are ready to mate and swarm in search of a new place to set up their budding colony.
Plies of discarded wings and winged termites in your home are often one of the first visible signs of a colony in or around your home. Keep an eye out for wings around your window sills and doors.
2. Warped Paint or Varnish
Termites in your home may cause visible signs of their presence like warped varnish or paint on surfaces where they’ve chewed through the wood. Their tunnels can result in excess moisture building up in the hollow spaces they create.
Of course, if you can see the tunnels themselves, then you’ve got a surefire sign of termites. However, if you see odd signs of water damage without finding any leaks, then there may be excess moisture in termite tunnels, hidden out of sight.
3. Termites in Your Home Cause Brittle, Papery-Feeling Wood
The tunnels that termite workers chew through wood weaken the structure, and you can often tell after a few quick checks even if you can’t see the difference from the surface. For example, if you rap your knuckles against your baseboards and the sound is hollow, then termites have probably gnawed away a significant portion of the wood.
4. Tapping and Chewing Sounds of Termites in Your Home
Another sign of termites in your home is when you can actually hear them. Soldier termites knock their heads against the wood to communicate with one another. If you listen carefully, you might be able to hear this tapping sound for yourself.
Worker termites are also surprisingly noisy when they eat, meaning that you can probably hear them chewing if you put your ear up close to an infested piece of wood.
5. Mud Tubes and Frass are Signs of Termites in Your Home
To further investigate whether you have a termite problem, step outside and look around the foundation of your home. If you can spot mud tubes around the base of your house, then you’re seeing evidence of subterranean termites.
Another telling sign of termites is seeing their droppings or frass. If you find piles of little wood-colored pellets, then you’re looking at what used to be part of your home.
Termite colonies in your home can quickly spiral into a destructive infestation if left untreated. Keep a vigilant eye out for any signs of termites in your home like warped paint, brittle, papery wood, mud tubes, and frass. Look for visible swarms of flying termites and listen for audible chewing. If these signs are present in your home, contact a termite inspector immediately.