Although small, termites can cause significant damage to homes and other structures. Identifying a termite infestation early on is crucial to preventing costly damage and protecting your property. In this article, we'll discuss 10 red flags for identifying a termite infestation.

What Are the Signs of Termite Infestation?

1. Discarded wings

Termites swarm during mating season (November to February or March). After mating, they shed their wings to start their own colonies. At this time, you will often find discarded wings near windowsill vents, bathtubs, and door frames.

2. Mud tubes

Subterranean termites are one of the most common termites that use mud tubes to travel from their colony to their food source. You may see mud tubes on trees, foundations, walls, dead wood, along cracks, floors, and even furniture, which they use to link their colony to their food source.

3. Wood damage

Termites feed on wood, so if you notice damage on your furniture, beams, floors, and frames, it could signify termite activity. Look for sagging floors, hollow-sounding wood, and visible tunnels or galleries in the wood.

4. Clicking sounds

As termites eat through wood and build tunnels, they are also keen to warn others in the colony about any impending danger. When they sense danger, they make clicking sounds by banging their heads against the wood or other surfaces.

5. Swarms

If you see a swarm of winged insects around your home, it could be a sign of a termite infestation. Termite swarmers (alates) will leave their colonies to look for potential partners to mate with and start their own territory.

6. Tight-fitting doors and windows

Termites can cause structural damage to a home, resulting in doors and windows becoming challenging to open or close. As termites, especially subterranean termites, chew through wood, they excrete moisture which causes windows and doors to warp, making it difficult to close or open them.

7. Paint blisters

Subterranean termites regulate the humidity and temperature in their environment by controlling how deep they go into the wood and adding moisture when needed. When the moisture moves up towards the surface of the wood and reaches the paint, it can cause the paint to bubble and peel.

8. Frass

Termite droppings or frass can resemble hard, dry sawdust, coffee grounds, or small pellets. Termites create exit holes where they push out their excrement so that the build-up doesn’t block the colony. If you see small piles of frass, check the wood above it to locate the exit hole.

9. Presence of White ‘ants.’

White ant-like insects clearly indicate a termite infestation in your home. ‘White ants’ are worker termites, and seeing one or several of them could suggest that their hiding area was broken open.

10. Hollow or papery wood

Termites eat from the inside out, which can cause wood to become hollow or papery in texture. If you tap on a piece of wood and it sounds hollow, it could be a sign of termite activity.

Identifying a termite infestation early on is crucial to preventing costly damage to your property. Hire a qualified pest control company to identify signs of termite activity and recommend treatment options to eliminate the infestation and protect your property.