What Do Termites Look Like and Signs of Termite Damage

What Do Termites Look Like and Signs of Termite Damage

There are many contributing factors to an infestation of termites that includes rising temperatures, moisture levels, and light intensity. Regardless of where you live, you may not be aware of a termite infestation until it is too late. If you spot an infestation early on or potential termite signs, you need to bring in your local pest control company to perform an inspection of your home. Termites that have been nesting in your home for years can cause thousands of dollars in damage and usually aren’t covered by homeowners insurance.


Be proactive about preventing termite damage by searching for signs in and around your home periodically. For extra protection, maintain a termite protection plan with a reliable company. Rid-A-Bug can help protect your home from the significant structural damage termites can cause. 

Types of Termites

There are a variety of termites that differ in size and color. Although they have distinct characteristics, most termites look similar to each other. The different types of termites include:

  • Dampwood Termite
  • Drywood Termite
  • Formosan Termite
  • Subterranean Termite

These pesky pests eat cellulose found in wood. Termites will destroy walls, furniture, and other wooden materials in your home. Their damage can appear in different forms from sagging floors, droopy ceilings, or infested wood that appears to be water-damaged. Homeowners may find piles of sawdust, mud tubes, or detached wings from swarmers. 

7 Signs of Termite Damage

1. Evidence of Swarms

A termite swarm is the only time you will see termites or find out you have termites before discovering the damage or other signs. Termites will establish new colonies and swarm both indoors and outdoors.

2. Discarded Wings

The first and most often sign you will find is discarded wings from termites. As a termite colony matures, winged termites will leave the nest and create a new colony. They will shed their wings into piles for you to discover that they are present. Termites are attracted to light, so you will most likely find tiny wings in the basement window sills or stuck in cobwebs. If you spot wings inside of your home, contact a professional for help immediately.

3. Mud Tubes

Tiny mud tubes can be found wherever the ground meets your house or any other potential food sources like trees or a shed. Subterranean termites dig underground and forage up their food which is often your home’s structure. Termites require certain temperatures and humidity levels to survive. They dig tunnels to help block out the cool, dry air and turn your home into a safe environment where they can thrive.

4. Frass

Termite droppings or frass are a major sign of a termite infestation. Drywood termites nest inside the wood, creating tunnels and feasting on the wood they are infesting. They will discard the droppings by creating mounds of pellets. Most frass piles are very small and will appear as sawdust or wood shavings. You can find these pellets anywhere there is wood. If you find termite droppings, call a professional to get a termite inspection.

5. Outdoor Issues

Trees damaged by termites can be dangerous because they can fall on your home or in your backyard. It can also be a sign that termites are headed their way into infesting your home. Inspect your trees for small holes and wood shavings if they have entered into any tree. The best place to look for termites is around the base of the tree. Use a small shovel to dig around the roots just below the soil line. Search for other signs like discarded wings or dead termites at the base of the tree.

6. Hollowed-Out Wood 

Termites dig their small bodies and tend to eat wood from the inside out. Find wood that is suspicious of any potential termite damage and knock on it to hear if it is hollow inside. If so, this indicated there was a termite infestation that occurred. 

7. Exterior Wood Damage

If you find wood that has been damaged on the surface, this could indicate a possible termite infestation. Look for any bare, exposed wood or rotten areas that are an entry point for termites to infest. If you spot this type of damage to your property, hire a professional to conduct a thorough termite inspection. 

Get Rid of Termites With Rid-A-Bug

Rid-A-Bug can help protect your home from the damaging effects of pesky termites. Our trained experts will inspect your home and recommend a customizable solution for your home’s needs. Contact us at 1-800-682-5901 or online for more information about our services.