How To Tell If You Have Termites In Your Walls (8 Common Signs)January 14, 2022
If you’ve ever experienced a termite infestation before, you know how destructive they can be to your home and how difficult they are to eradicate.
If you think your walls might be filled with termites, there are a few signs you can look for to determine if this is the case before you decide on a treatment solution.
So how can you tell if you have termites in your walls? Look for the following 8 common signs.
Sign 1: Thin Lines (Tunnels) On Drywall
Termites tend to burrow into walls and live mostly inside of the wall. However, they also sometimes travel just under the surface of your drywall or plaster to get from one place to another.
So if you notice blistering paint on your drywall, it’s possible that termites are living just below the surface.
However, it’s important to note that if you have drywall that is made of fiberglass (such as fireproof “type X” drywall) or some other similar product, this might not be a sign of termite infestation because they can’t tunnel into these surfaces.
Sign 2: Tiny Holes In Walls
One of the more obvious signs that termites are in your walls is if you spot tiny holes along the surface of the wall. These are also called swarmer exit holes.
If you see small round or oblong pinholes in your walls, it’s likely that termites are living inside of the interior of the wall at that location.
If you also notice similar pinholes in nearby wood framing as well, that’s a stronger indication that your walls are infested with termites.
Sign 3: Swarmer Termites Flying Around
Another indicator that termites are in your walls is if you see swarmer termites flying around in your house by the walls, or you see broken off wings on the floor near walls or on window ledges.
Swarmers are the winged reproductive forms of termites that fly around when they’re looking for new places to infest. If you spot large numbers of them flying around, it’s likely that your walls are already infested with termites.
Sign 4: Doors Or Windows Don’t Close Easily Anymore
Another sign (although not a surefire sign) of termites is if you notice that doors or windows don’t seem to close as easily anymore.
Termites tend to gnaw away at the wooden components in your walls, which can cause them to weaken and become loose over time, making it more difficult (or sometimes much easier) to open and close doors or windows.
Keep in mind that as temperatures change throughout the year, wooden components may contract and expand, so if it’s autumn or winter and your doors or windows are sticking, this might not be a definitive indicator of termites. Look for other indicators – or get a termite inspection from a local pest control business – before assuming you’re dealing with termites.
Sign 5: Carpenter Ants Near Walls
Ants are attracted to termites because they feed on their waste. Also, ants are predatory to termites. So if you see ants along your walls, this could also be a sign that termites might be nearby.
That said, carpenter ants will sometimes build nests inside walls or other wooden structures and they can look very similar to termites, so be aware that if you do notice ants along your walls, it might mean that you have ants, not termites, burrowing into your walls.
Sign 6: Termite Dust At Base Of Wall
Another indicator that termites may be living in your walls is if you spot piles of tiny (not sticky) powder dust on the floor near the base of your walls.
If this pile of dry, crumbly powder dust appears at the base of your walls, it’s possible that termites are burrowing into and through your wood materials and then excreting their waste (a.k.a. “frass”) along the way.
Finding frass around a certain area can also sometimes indicate where exactly inside your wall they’re living. The further away from the surface, you see this frass, the deeper within the wall they likely are living.
Termites also construct shelter tubes constructed from a combination of fecal matter and dirt. These oblong tubes provide shelter for termites to form a path to and from their food source.
Sign 7: Faint Clicking Sounds In The Wall
As gross as this may be, if there are termites in your walls, you might also be able to hear them moving around or chewing at the wood inside of the wall, but you would need a stethoscope to do so.
This is because they make very faint clicking sounds. If you’re hearing these sounds coming from all along the surface of the wall, it’s likely that termites are living in your walls.
Keep in mind, however, that other wood-boring insects make similar sounds, so it’s not 100% definitive of termites. Also, if you have mice in your walls, you may hear faint scratching, chewing, or scampering which could sound similar to termite sounds if you’re not experienced with what to listen for.
Sign 8: Mud Tubes Along Baseboards
On rare occasions, you might observe mud tubes. If you see mud tubes along your baseboards or between your home and the ground outside, it could be a sign that termites are in your walls.
Termites create these tubes as a way to travel from their nests up into your walls and other parts of your home undetected so that they can avoid predators and remain safe while they feed on your home.
If you see mud tubes extending to the interior of your house, it’s likely that termites are already infesting the wood materials in the structure of your home.
What To Do If You Think You Have Termites In Your Walls
Now that you know how to tell if you have termites in your walls, you should be able to determine how likely it is that your home is infested. If you think you have termites living in your walls, the best thing you can do is contact a local pest control company to help you look for signs of infestation and deal with the problem as soon as possible.
If you try to fix termite damage yourself without hiring a professional, you could be in for a nasty surprise – fixing up your home after a termite infestation can be costly!
If you’re local to Lancaster or York counties PA, Dominion Pest Control is your most trusted termite removal service in the area! Call us today at 717-393-7879 or click here to schedule a termite inspection.