Signs of Termites

Signs of Termites: 9 Early Signs in your Home

Below I’ve outlined signs of termites – these will become evident with rising atmospheric pressure, wind, light intensity, moisture levels, and temperatures – proper termite identiifcation will help you decide on the appropriatrae control method.

In summary, you’ll know if the structures such as the house or other buildings are infested with termites when you see some of these clues;

  • The presence of termites swarmers (dead or alive) inside the structures.
  • Check the crawl spaces or on the building walls (externally) up from the foundation for mud shelter tubes
  • When the structures are damaged by termites.

Other signs of termites will include discarded wings, bubbling or uneven paint, and frass.

Details: 9 Signs of Termites – Termite Activity

1. Termite Swarmers

Termite swarms can happen outside or inside the house as the termites leave their nests and set up a new colony.

  • Immediately after the swarmers begin flying, they’ll shed wings.
  • So the swarmers will leave evidence of wings (small piles) on various surfaces and spiderwebs including on the doors, window sills, and the house foundation.

To differentiate between termites and ants; note that the wings of termites have the same size whereas ants’ wings have different sizes.

  • The rear pair of wings of an and is smaller
  • While the front pair of wings of ant is larger

To know that the termites are really swarmers, you’ll need to use a magnifying glass and check its colour as it’s a common sign.

  • Carpenter ant swarmers are dark brown, black, or red – compared Carpenter Ants vs Fire Ants
  • Swarmers of the dry wood termites will be solid red.
  • Swarmers of subterranean termites will be solid black.

So you can notice termite swarmers emerge from structures such as the house or even Edwards lying on the window sill or on the floor.

Citing the termite swarmers in the house is enough sign that the structure is infested by termites and will require professional termite control.

  • I advise scheduling a termite inspection and treatment for the building in question.

Scientists note that termites require a number of years for their colonies to grow large and produce swarmers.

If you see many swarmers coming out of a building, it is a sign that a large termite colony is eating up the structure.

However, killing the termite swarmers only will not solve your termite problem.

  • After all, the termite’s swarmers that leave the building eventually die when they can’t get too moist ground to feed and reproduce.

Therefore, killing the termite swarmers will only leave the other termite colony thriving unless you treat them.

NB: Finding a few Formosan termites could be an exception when sighted in a building that is appropriately treated for termites.

  • This is because the Formosan swarmers will be attracted by light from outside colonies or trees and may enter the house, especially in the swam season.

2. Finding mud shelter tubes.

If you see mud shelter tubes moving up the house plumbing, support piers, enable foundation walls, and outside foundation walls, then there could be a termite colony around.

  • For example, termites can build shelter tubes on the exterior side of a slab to enable them to get into the house under the siding.

For verification purposes;

  • Break a small section of that mud tube and check if you see any termites.
  • Also, check the broken tube after a few days to see if the termites have repaired that section.

These two will be enough signs that the termites are actively infesting the building or structures.

But destroying the mud tubes only will not get rid of a termite infestation (but fumigation can help). This is because the termites will go around and know how to enter the building anyway.

  • So after finding the mud shelter tubes, I advise you get professional exterminators to inspect the building for termites.

But any shelter tubes that are inactive and old (especially from a previous termite infestation gross profit must be scraped off or removed to make subsequent inspections easier.

You may also find the mud shelter tubes (especially for the Formosan termite) at higher locations of the building such as on the fascia boards, soffit, exterior wall, ceilings, and internal walls.

Other possible reasons for the entry of the termites (especially the Formosan termites) include the presence of above-ground moisture or roof leak.

I advise you to drill some “pinholes” on the mud shelter tubes or the dried mud on the structures for treatment of termites.

  • If the pinholes are repaired using mud, it will be clear that the termites have repaired them to prevent airflow exposure.

Related: Carpenter Bee vs Bumblebee

3. Sunken trails or areas under the paint

The presence of trails or sunken areas on the surfaces, paint, or wallpaper may signify the presence of termites.

  • The sunken trails or areas under the paint could be resulting from the feeding activity of the termites as they cause damage to the cardboards.

However, termites do not eat gypsum but will feed on the cardboard and wood panelling that is covering it.

The mud may be formed into all shapes on the ceiling and walls particularly during late spring.

  • For example, the “swarm castles” of the formosan termites may be 1.5 inches tall and roughly 3 in white.

To identify the presence of the formosan termites, break the mud structures and see if their soldiers will come out defending their colony.

Also, check the foam insulation around the house and see if there are any mud tubes that are traveling through or over it.

  • The termites really easily tunnel through the foam insulation (particularly if it is sprayed on) but will not eat it.

Some of the termite species that will tunnel through spray-on foam insulation include the Eastern subterranean termites and the formosan termites.

  • Termite damage in your house may get noticed when you’re doing your re-modelling, doing home repairs or replacing old wallpapers. 

Despite the fact that termites will leave an area shortly after attacking it, you may still see some of these animals that will denote the presence of an active termite infestation. 

Related: Termite Bait Stations

4. Structural damage on the roof and floors.

If you notice structural damage such as a sagging roof or floor or even a door frame that is broken, you could be sure that they are termites attacking.

  • But also the structural damage could have resulted from factors such as Wood rot.

But if you see excessive dried or live termites on the damaged timber, this could point out that there are termites attacking the structures.

Another sign that will denote the presence of drywood termites is if you find six-sided pallets that are uniformly-sized (small) on the countertop or floor.


Termites will wittingly hide themselves in ward and soil especially in crisis and cars that are hidden on the foundation and the structures.

  • So if there are clear signs of a damaged infestation, then it is clear that their population is very high (since these pests are challenging to detect).

The presence of shelter tubes moving up on the outside of the foundation wall will show the presence of termites.

However, I advise that you get expert professional termite inspection for your structures and the house for effective control.

Also, don’t forget to undertake regular or annual termite prevention and control on various structures and the yard.