termite problem

How to Tell if You Have a Termite Problem

VWB Blog 12 months ago 2

Termites are one of the biggest pest problems homeowners face in the United States, They cause a ton of damage, and 600,000 households deal with them each year.

This makes understanding the signs of termites essential. If you don’t spot an infestation quickly, it can spiral out of control and severely damage your home.

If you believe you have a termite problem, there are a few things to look for to confirm your suspicions. Below are the common signs of a termite infestation that you need to know.

Windows and Doors Are Hard to Close

A common sign of a bug problem is difficulty closing your windows and doors. Windows and doors require a solid frame to shut correctly. If you have warped wood, it can cause friction issues and make your doors and windows not flush with their frames.

One reason this happens is because of termites. Since wood is often exposed in these areas, it’s a common place for termites to feed and destroy wood. The damage caused will cause your wood to warp, the baseboard to crumble, and other structural issues.

Closely examine your baseboards and frame to see if you notice any damage. If you do, look closely at the damage to see if you can spot any termites in the area.

Damaged Paint and Wallpaper

Termites use your walls to enter the interior of your home to find food. In some cases, they can do this out of sight and not leave any visible traces. But if termites have no interior paths into your walls, they will get in from the outside.

Termites can go straight through your wall to find food through your paint and wallpaper. You’ll notice this by seeing small pinholes in your walls where termites go through.

You may not immediately notice these pinholes, but there are other signs to look for when examining your paint and wallpaper:

  • Bubbling paint
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Dented wall areas
  • Sunken walls and winding lines

Each of these signs points to termites. If you spot any, immediately call a professional to investigate further to determine if you have a pest infestation.

Discarded Wings

There are different types of termites. You have workers who help manage the colony and soldiers who help protect the colony against predators. Then you have swarmers who go out and about to build networks of tunnels and create new colonies.

Swarmers are attracted to light, so you’ll see them around your windows and doors. Many of them will die and leave their remains around those areas throughout their journey.

You’ll probably notice them by seeing wings around these areas. The wings are distinctive and unique to swarmers. If you see them around your home in early spring when termites are building new colonies, you may have a pest infestation elsewhere.

Termite Droppings

Termite colonies can grow quite large. Even if swarmers are moving around to establish new pathways to build extra colonies, there will still be a lack of room in the already established areas.

One problem these colonies have as termites eat is a buildup of droppings. Termite droppings, or frass, will take up too much space and make it harder for termites to live in the area.

To solve this problem, termites push the droppings out of the colony. Eventually, this frass will become visible in the open if there isn’t enough space in the colonies. Whether or not termites push frass out of their colonies depends on the types of termites in your area, so check to see if termite droppings are common in your location.

Mud Tubes

Termites don’t usually travel above ground. Doing so will expose them to predators and risk the lives of termites traveling to gather food.

To counter those threats, termites gather mud and other materials on the ground to build small tubes along the ground. Once these tubes are built, termites use them to travel underground to other colonies and food sources.

You can break off mud tubes if you find them to see if you have an active termite infestation. If you do, call pest control to find the source and eliminate the problem.

Hollow Wood

The chances are that you have solid wood in much of your home’s structure. You should be able to knock on the wood and hear a sound that indicates solid wood in places where it’s used.

But if termites are inside and eating the wood, the wood may become hollow. In those cases, you’ll hear a more shallow sound that indicates a problem.

You can hear a hollow sound by knocking on your walls and finding areas without a support stud. Continue knocking until you find the wall studs to hear the sound where there is solid wood.

Once you understand the difference, use your fist, hammer, or another object to listen for hollow wood elsewhere. You may have a bug problem if you hear a hollow sound where there shouldn’t be, you may have a bug problem.

Mold Smell

It’s not uncommon to find termites where there is mold. Termites are attracted to rotting wood, which means mold is the perfect location for termites to head to.

Make sure you find the source of the smell if you think you have mold. You may need to contact a professional to find the problem.

Once you uncover the mold, you should be able to see if there are termites there and if you need to call someone to handle the pest infestation.

Stay on Guard a Home Termite Problem

Termites are one of the worst pest infestations you can fight against. They can destroy a lot of your home’s wood — and in the worst-case scenario, destroy your home’s foundation and make it an unsafe place to live.

But you can avoid serious home problems when you find your bug problem before it gets too bad. Watch for the signs of a termite problem above to understand when to hire exterminators to handle the issue.

Do you want to read more guides for handling other common home problems? Head back over to the blog to read the latest posts.

Written By