Signs of Termites

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Signs of Termites

Do You Have Termites?

There are a few phrases that no homeowner ever wants to hear and “You have termites,” definitely ranks near the top of the list. Luckily, if you know how to spot signs of termite infestation, you can often take care of the problem before it becomes a hazard.

  • Signs of Termites – Swarming

The most obvious sign of termites and the one that people typically notice first is the swarm. Swarming happens when a termite colony reaches a certain size (the exact population depends on the species and colony specifics): some workers will molt and develop wings, exit the colony en masse and take their one and only flight before settling down with a mate to begin their own colony. Swarms are a sign of a mature termite presence and should therefore be a call to action for homeowners if they want their property to remain structurally secure.

  • Signs of Termites – Tunnels

One of the more conspicuous signs of termites is the presence of mud tunnels or tubes that connect to the foundation of your house. Typically, these tunnels are not very wide, but resemble streams of dirt moving up, down, and across a surface

  • Signs of Termites – Frass

A less pleasant sign of termite presence is that of frass, or termite droppings. Frass takes the form of a pellet, varies in color, and is said to resemble sawdust. If you are concerned about your ability to spot such a small material, have no fear—termites often leave large piles of frass in their wake, making it much easier to identify. It should be noted that if you have in the past been treated for termites, you may still find frass occasionally. While it is possible that your home is under siege once more, it is much more likely that, rather than a sign of a current termite presence, it is simply leftover from the previous termite problem.

  • Signs of Termites – Surface Changes

A close examination of a house’s interior can reveal termite damage as well. Signs of termites that are often seen indoors are swollen ceilings and floors, buckling wood, wood that sounds hollow when tapped, surfaces that appear to have suffered from water damage, and mazes that can be seen in walls or furniture.

  • Signs of Termites – Wing Accumulation

An additional sign of termites that can be found through an inspection of a home’s interior is located on window sills and near doors, vents, bathtubs, and sinks in the form of discarded wings.

If you notice any of these signs, it is in your best interest to contact a professional exterminator immediately, before termites make your house their own personal buffet.

Check out this Article on Termite Damage for further information


Donovan, Deborah (2004) “Termite Control Insects Can Wreak Havoc on a Home If Not Controlled. Here’s What Homeowners Can Do to Battle the Bugs,” Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 23, (Accessed 8 October 2014)., Termite Damage Signs. Available from: (Accessed 8 October 2014)., Termite Droppings: Frass. Available from: (Accessed 8 October 2014).

“Recognizing Termite Damage Is the First Step in Eradication,” Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 14, 2014. Available from: (Accessed 8 October 2014).

Respess, Susan P. (1999) “Time to Look for Termite Infestations,” The Florida Times Union, February 20, (Accessed 8 October 2014).