When it comes to termites, there are two types of these pests to be aware of. Drywood termites and subterranean termites, each with distinct indications of their presence, wreak havoc on homes every year, causing over $5 billion in property damage annually.
Knowing the signs of termites can help you recognize an infestation early so you can get termite treatments before it’s too late.
General Termite Signs
Swarm termites, also known as flying termites, are indications of an infestation for both drywood and subterranean termites.
These swarm termites are the reproductive males and females that leave the colony to find a new area to mate and establish a new colony. They typically leave the nest one or two times per year, usually during the spring or during the fall.
They are attracted to light and may be found near light fixtures.
Discarded wings are clear evidence that swarm termites have selected a new place to colonize. They will shed their wings as they no longer need to travel; then they shift their focus on building the colony and mating.
Often located near entry points by doors, window ledges, vents or underneath the light from a lightbulb, piles of small wings are a telltale sign of termites.
Drywood Termite Signs
Drywood termites typically damage homes by creating sagging floors, walls and ceilings. They live deep within wooden structures and consume the framework of your house.
They make the places they intrude to appear to be water damaged such as discolored or damp spots on the walls.
Headbanging, as the name suggests, is when termites bang their heads against wood or shake their bodies as a way to signal danger to the colony to other termites.
The headbanging echoes as quiet clicking noises from the walls.
Frass are termite droppings and are a clear sign of a termite infestation.
Drywood termites nest inside of wood and, as they create tunnels, they also form holes to discard their droppings to keep the nest clean. Most frass are very small, no longer than one millimeter long.
These termite droppings look like pellets or wood shavings, similar to the appearance of sawdust.
You can find these pellets anywhere there is wood in the home.