Signs of Termites and Termite Damage


Last Updated on July 22nd, 2020

Termites can easily compromise the structural stability of your home. Termite infestation is usually not apparent until substantial structural damages have incurred.

It’s not easy to detect termite infestation as termites live in dark, humid, and protected environment. Therefore, it’s important that you call a licensed professional to get a termite inspection done every one to three years. In the meantime, you can always be vigilant and look for some red flags that signal termite infestation.

Signs of Termite Damage

  1. Signs of Subterranean Termite Damage

    Subterranean termites are found throughout the continental United States, and they dwell in the soil beneath and around homes. They invade through wood surfaces that touch the ground or build mud tubes from the ground to the wood they damage. These termites build their colonies underground but travel above ground in search of food. Signs like cracks in walls and foundations made of hollow blocks allow these termites to easily infest a home. They also can gain entry through the tunnels they construct from mud, their saliva and feces. These tunnels are dry, brown, and cylindrical.

  2. Signs of  Dampwood Termite Damage

    These termites are much larger than subterranean termites and are common across the United States. Wood damaged by water easily attracts dampwood termites that are drawn to fallen logs, lumber, stumps, and tree branches that are in direct contact with the ground. Dampwood termites do not make tunnels like the subterranean termites. They usually have no contact with soil. Wood that is damaged by dampwood termites usually looks smooth and clean inside. They use their fecal pellets to seal their locations from the outside air.

  3. Signs of  Drywood Termite Damage

    Drywood termites are usually found in warm, southern climates. Drywood termites live and feed in undecayed wood which has little to no moisture content. They can significantly damage wooden furniture pieces that are movable. They live in the colonies that they make within the wood they eat. As they feed on wood, they burrow mazes of chambers and tunnels within the walls and furniture. These termites leave feces behind where they have nested or eaten. Drywood termites also cause sagging walls, floors and ceilings.


Warning Signs of Termites

  1. Swarmers or Discarded Wings

    Flying termites are light gold in colour are usually seen during the swarming season. In spring, termite swarmers emerge from their nest to mate and look for a new location to start a colony. That new place could be your home. They fly a short distance away and shed their own wings. If you see termite swarmers or discarded termite wings near your doors or windowsills that means a colony has been established and you are probably witnessing the first visible sign of a termite infestation.

  2. Head Banging

    If you hear a clicking sound coming from inside the walls, you might have termites in your home. These termites continuously bang their heads against the wood to signal danger to other termites.

  3. Discolored or Drooping Drywall

    Termites often feed on walls from the outside, and the signs may be visible. And once a termite inspection has been done, you will be shown the trails that indicate their presence.

  4. Mud Tubes

    In order to thrive, termites require a very humid environment. They have a very thin layer of skin, and when exposed to little or no humidity, they can easily dry out and die. Termites often enter your home through the basement, cellar, or foundation of your home since those areas remain more humid than the rest of your home. And since termites love humid environments, wood deteriorates faster, making it an easier food source for termites. Due to the death of termites from dry environments, termites create “mud tubes” as a form of transportation to keep the humidity in.

  5. Frass-Termite Droppings

    Frass is a key indicator of termites. If you see frass in your home, it is the best time to get a termite inspection done.

  6. Structural Damage

    Many times structural damage is caused due to weather, aging or insects, you should immediately call an expert repair technician to fix any structural damage. Another obvious indicator of the presence of termites in your home is the damage they inflict on your property. Here are a few signs of termite damage which will help you understand how does termite damage look like.

  • Damaged Wood

    It is a common warning sign of termites. This, unfortunately, is the most difficult way to determine a termite infestation. And if you think your wood has been damaged, you should definitely get a termite inspection done before extensive damage occurs. In many cases, you might not be able to see termite damage until you remove parts of the wall to get to the studs. Termites dig little groves and holes into the wood in search of food. And this could even cause wood to make hollow sounds, and floorboards to sag.

  • Tight-Fitted Doors and Windows

    Tight-fitted doors and windows can often indicate the presence of termites. They produce moisture when eating and traveling through door and window frames. This results in distorted wood, making doors and windows difficult to open.

  • Tunnels in Wood

    Tunnels may be difficult to see from the outside. But if you find termites in an abandoned piece of timber, termites are definitely planning to infest your home.

  • Loose Tiles

    Termites easily damage flooring under laminate or wooden flooring. As they consume the wooden supports in your flooring, you may notice your tiles becoming loose or the floor simply sagging.

  • Foundation Damage

    The foundation of your home has a big impact on how easy or how difficult it is for termites to enter your home in search of food. Although most of the foundations today are made of concrete, termites can gain entry through the cracks in the concrete blocks. Homes with crawl spaces are at a greater risk of damage as the foundation is made out of wood.

  • Damaged Roof Tiles

    Broken roof tiles allow moisture in your home, and that is a great attraction for termites. They gain enter in your home and eat away the wood components in all locations. Make sure you replace any broken or water-logged roof tiles.

  • Garden Damage

    Your garden furniture such as decking and wooden fence posts are at risk of termite infestation. Severe infestation can lead to the collapse of your garden wood furniture. Termite-treated wood or metal posts can help to avoid this problem.

  • Wall Damage

    Termites consume cellulose found in timber within walls. So, if you see unexplained cracks on internal walls, it could be a sign of termite activity.

  • Uneven or Bubbling Paint

    If you see bubbling or uneven paint, it could be because of two things – water damage or termites. Get it checked.

  • Ceiling Damage

    Wooden beams, ceilings, architraves and rafters in attics are at risk of termite damage. Watch out for cracks on ceilings and cornices.


Why it’s important to have a year-round termite prevention control in place?

In the US, termites are a multi-billion dollar problem for property owners. This loss is rarely covered by insurance companies because termite damage is considered preventable through routine maintenance. However, most homeowners do not have the expertise to apply this maintenance effectively. That’s where an expert comes in. Licensed professionals use trusted products to eliminate termites and prevent future infestation.

If you need termite protection for your home, Take Care Termite can help. Our certified termite control technician can help you with your termite control and prevention needs. If you are dealing with a termite infestation, we can help you make your home termite-free and save it from termite damage. Call us at (209) 832-7300.

1 Comment

  • Anna Davis Reply

    I’m glad you mentioned that Termite damage can cause wood to warp, leading to tight-fitting doors and windows. I have an old wooden shed in my backyard, and I have noticed that the door is difficult to open and close. It sounds like I should have this checked out by a professional to see if there is any termite activity.

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