How to Tell Whether a House Has Termite Damage

How to Tell Whether a House Has Termite Damage
  • Opening Intro -

    Did you know that every year, 600,000 US homes and structures are affected by termite damage? The worst thing about termites is that they behave like cancer for our homes.


When you discover them for the first time, the damage is, quite often, already extensive. A typical homeowner will spend an average of $3,000 to control the infestation and repair the damage.

If you’re planning on any type of home improvement or remodeling, you can forget about it until you’ve dealt with your termite problem.

Like cancer screening, you have to be proactive when searching for evidence of termite damage. It’s crucial to catch them early on before they wreak widespread havoc to your house.

What does termite damage look like? Here are the signs you should look out for.

1. Signs of Subterranean Termite Damage

In the US, subterranean termites are the most destructive species. As the name implies, these termites live underground, in colonies with up to two million members.

To access food sources, they travel above ground through cracked or unsealed foundations.

Since they eat their way up from below, the damage might not be obvious until you have a full-blown infestation.

Because the subfloor is compromised, your flooring may either buckle or appear swollen. The damage also resembles water damage, manifesting as loose tiles or squeaky floorboards.

2. Mud Tubes

A sure sign that you’re dealing with subterranean termites is if you discover mud tubes. These are tunnels that serve as bridges from their colony to your home. Besides serving as a conduit to their food source, these tubes also help to preserve moisture and protect against predators.

These tunnels are pencil-sized, brown, and cylindrical in appearance. You can find them wherever the ground is in contact with your house or other food sources such as a dead tree.

3. Drywood Termite Damage Signs

Unlike the subterranean species, Drywood termites nest inside the wood. As they establish the colony, they create a maze of chambers and tunnels within the wood.

termite trapstermite wood repair

      some termite treatment issues to consider      

The early signs of infestation may not be apparent to the untrained eye. Most of the time, homeowners are only made aware of the termites after the veneer has already cracked and the tunnels become visible. That’s why we stress the importance of early detection and consulting a professional may help save money in the long run.

That being said, you may observe signs that point to the presence of termites. The wood may start to blister, peel paint, or sound hollow when tapped. You may also notice that the doors and windows are frequently getting stuck even if you don’t see any visible external damage.

Another sign is if you see frass or termite droppings that look like wood-colored pellets. If you look carefully at the nearby drywall, you may spot pinpoint holes where the termites kick out their excrement.

4. Presence of Swarmers

If you catch sight of swarmers or evidence of their passing, it’s almost a certainty that you have a colony nearby. These are winged adults that termites send out to scout for a new colony.

other valuable tips:

The swarmers shed their wings when they land at the new site. If you see piles of discarded wings, termites are probably close by.

Detect Termites Early to Protect Your Home

Termites are insidious pests that can wreck your house if you’re not vigilant. Early detection of termite damage is vital to avoid costly repairs and pest control.

For more home improvement tips, feel free to browse our site on all related pest control issues.

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