Have you ever been lying in bed at night and heard an odd noise? You probably dismissed it as your house settling or a squirrel running across your roof. At worst, you may have thought you had a mouse in the walls.
Those are all reasonable explanations, but there’s another possibility you may not have been aware of. Hearing strange noises is one of the most common signs you have termites.
Termites pose a much more serious problem to your home than a mouse or squirrel. The question is, how do you know if termites are the issue? You’ll need to check for more evidence.
Read on to learn nine signs you might have termites in your home.
1. Odd Noises
As mentioned above, termites are surprisingly noisy for their size. Termites make quite a ruckus when chewing on wood—you’ll be able to hear them if you put your ear near their meal.
That’s not the only noise you may hear from termites, though. Soldier termites also make noise by banging their heads against your walls.
By slamming their heads into the wall, soldier termites create a vibration that other termites can sense. It’s an easy way for a soldier to send a message to the rest of the termite colony.
2. Flying Termites
Flying termites are a rare sight, but if you do see a cloud of flying termites, it could indicate a serious problem. Called swarmers, these bugs emerge to look for new mates.
Swarmers only emerge at certain times of the year; you’re more likely to see some kinds of swarmers at night or after it rains.
If you have swarmers on your property, you likely have an entire colony of the pests nearby. Call a pest control service right away so you can start getting rid of termites before they become a serious issue.
3. Mud Tubes
Mud tubes are sure signs of termites on your property. What is a mud tube? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a tube made of mud that termites use to travel into your home.
You’ll find these tubes around the foundation of your home. They look a bit like veins spreading throughout your foundation.
Termites live underground, so they need to construct these tubes out of mud and saliva to protect themselves inside your home. The walls of the tube maintain the right temperature and humidity for termites to survive.
Another way to identify termites in your home is through their droppings, also known as frass. Drywood termite frass is mostly made of wood since that’s what the insect eats.
As a result, termite frass looks a bit like sawdust. If you’re finding mysterious piles that look like sawdust (or coffee grounds), there’s a good chance you need to call someone for termite control.
You might also notice small holes in your wood near these frass piles. Termites create these holes in their tunnels so they can push frass out, keeping the tunnel clear.
5. Insect Wings
This is one of the trickier signs of termites; there are many kinds of bugs that might leave behind wings in your home. Flying ants are a common source of insect wings, for instance.
Unfortunately, these wings can also be evidence of a termite infestation. Remember the swarmers we referenced earlier? They shed their wings after finding their mates.
If you find several shed wings near your windows or doors, it could mean that swarmers have taken up residence in your home.
6. Exterior Home Damage
Termites will damage your home’s exterior before they move into your house. If you have any wood touching the ground outside, check it regularly for termite damage.
The main thing to check for is texture. Termites aren’t the only insect that will attack your wood, but their chewing creates a unique, rough texture that feels much different than damage from carpenter ants or other bugs.
The way termites attack wood results in long grooves along the wood’s exterior. If your wood looks like it’s been slashed with a knife, termites are likely the culprit.
7. Flooring Blisters
Have you noticed odd blistering in your wood floors? Perhaps they look like they have water damage, but there’s no apparent source of water that would have caused it? Blistered floors may be signs you have termites.
Subterranean termites can chew through baseboards and laminate flooring, causing the wood to blister.
If you notice a spot of flooring that looks strange, apply some pressure. If it feels springy or spongier than it ought to, it may be the result of termites feasting on it.
8. Hollow Wood
Blistered floorboards are bad enough, but in some cases, termites can hollow out a piece of wood entirely. Termites eat wood from the inside out, so you may not even know the wood is damaged until it’s hollow.
If you suspect that termites have been gnawing on your wood, try knocking on it to see if it produces a hollow noise. You can also check for cracks in the wood, which are signs of structural damage caused by termites.
9. Termites on Your Property
Do you have any trees or stumps on your property? Check them for termite damage. It’s easy for a swarm to migrate from your yard into your home, so getting rid of termites in your yard is a smart preventative measure.
If you find damaged wood on your property, break a piece off and see what’s underneath. Is there a multitude of small, white insects that look sort of like ants? Those are termites.
Termites will travel far to find a new source of food; if they’re in your yard, they won’t think twice about moving into your home.
Watch for These Signs You Have Termites
It’s vital to watch out for signs you have termites; if you notice any of the items on this list, start the process of termite removal immediately! Otherwise, your home could suffer serious damage from these insects.
Termites aren’t the only thing that can hurt your home. Visit our household blog for tips on identifying and dealing with other issues, from vermin to electrical problems and beyond!