Each year, termites are responsible for an estimated $5 billion in damage, treatment, and repair costs in American homes. The trouble with termites is they live in colonies and are very good at staying hidden. Your best defense is to look for these signs of termites in the home.
Swarms are Signs of Termites in the Home
Adult termites leave their nests when the weather gets warmer, usually after a rainstorm. They do so to mate and start new colonies. Look for swarms of insects in the morning or afternoon. The swarms may emerge from small holes in the foundation or the wood they are infesting.
After the termites have mated, they no longer need their wings and will shed them. Piles of wings are a sign of termites in the home. Since termites are attracted to light, look for wings in places like window sills.
Mud Tubes are Signs of Termites
Subterranean termites dig tunnels to travel from the soil to their source of food, which is the wood in your home. Called mud tubes, these tunnels are the thickness of a pencil and provide darkness and protection from the elements. Look for mud tubes around the foundation as a sign of termites in the home.
Termite droppings, called frass, are another sign of these insects. Drywood termites make their nests inside the wood they infest. The droppings are small, only about a millimeter long, and appear in mounds. They resemble sawdust or wood shavings and you might see them under tiny holes in wood.
Clicking Noises are Signs of Termites in the Home
Like ants and bees, termites are social insects that work together as a community. The soldier termite guards the colony to warn the others of any threats. They do this by banging their head on the wood or shaking their body to make noise. While looking for other signs of termites in the home, listen for a quiet clicking sound inside the walls.
Exterior Wood Damage
Since exposed or rotting wood around your home is an open invitation for a termite infestation, exterior wood damage can be a sign of termites in the home. Subterranean termites are especially attracted to moisture-damaged wood.
Termites in Trees
Even though they are not in your home, be aware of termite infestation in trees. A damaged tree can be dangerous if it falls on your home. Termites living in trees may target your home later. Examine the trees on your property for small holes and tiny wood shavings around the base of the trees. You may also find discarded wings around the base of the tree.