6 Signs of Termites in Walls: How to Tell If You Have a Termite Problem
Do you think you might have a termite problem? If so, it’s important to know the signs of termites on walls. Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home if they are not treated properly, so it’s important to be able to identify them early on.
In this guide, we will discuss six common signs of termites that may inhabit your walls. We will also provide tips on dealing with a termite infestation. So, if you think you might have a problem with termites, be sure to read this guide.
What Is A Termite?
A termite is a small insect that lives in underground colonies. They are known to cause damage to homes and buildings by eating wood and other materials. There are different kinds of termites. Some termites live in the soil, whereas some termites live in wood.
These termites build mud tubes to travel above ground, and to reach their food source. They also tend to make their nests in tree trunks and in branches that they eat. Most termites create colonies in the ground, but some termites will build their nests in trees or other wood structures.
Different Types of Termites that Infest Homes
There are five main types of termites that infest homes: dry wood, damp wood, conehead, subterranean, and Formosan. Each type of termite is attracted to different conditions in your home.
Drywood termites are one of the most common types of termites in the United States. These termites live in dry, undisturbed wood, and can often be found on walls, floors, and furniture. Drywood termites don’t need contact with soil to survive.
Dampwood termites are usually found near sources of moisture, such as leaky pipes or wet foundations. Dampwood termites are attracted to moist or wet wood. They often infest wood that has been damaged by water.
Also known as Nasutitermes costalis. It is also known for its nesting habits, which can be a major problem for homeowners. These termites build their nests in the soil, then tunnel their way into the wooden structures of homes.
These termites are the most destructive type of termite. Subterranean termites live in colonies in the soil, and build mud tubes to travel to their food source – your house. If you see small, pencil-thin tubes of mud on the foundation of your home or on exterior walls, it’s a good indicator that you have a subterranean termite problem.
Formosan termites are the most aggressive, voracious, and devious species of termite in the United States. They are often called “super termites” because they can cause so much damage, so quickly. Formosan termites organized their nests into huge underground colonies that can number in the millions. Formosan termites will travel through mud tunnels to invade a home, and they are capable of eating wood twice as fast as other species of termite.
These are just a few of the different types of termites that can infest your home. Knowing what type of termite you’re dealing with will help you determine the best course of treatment.
Six Signs of Termites in Walls
Now that you know a little bit more about termites, let’s talk about the signs of termites on walls. These six signs will help you determine if you have a problem with termites:
If you rap your knuckles along your walls and it sounds hollow, that’s a bad sign. It could mean that the termites have eaten away at the wood from the inside, leaving only a thin layer of sheetrock or wallpaper holding up your walls.
Crumbling drywall is one of the most obvious signs of termites in walls. If you have a termite problem, you will likely see pieces of drywall falling apart or looking like they have been chewed on. Termites eat wood, so they will target any wood in your home, including drywall.
Mud tubes appear on walls and are about the width of a pencil. These tubes are used by termites to travel from the ground to the wood in your wall. If you see mud tubes, it’s a good indication that you have a termite problem. They create shelter tubes to protect themselves from the open air and predators.
Cracks in walls or ceilings
As termites eat away at the wood in your walls, it can cause the plaster or drywall to crack. Termite damage is often first noticed when cracks appear in walls or ceilings and small hairline cracks open up in the paint. These cracks are usually caused by the wood shrinking as it’s eaten away.
Discoloration in the plasterboard
When you start to see brown or yellow patches on your walls, this is a sign that there may be termites present. The discoloration is caused by the insects eating away at the wood in your walls, and it will only get worse over time. If you notice these spots, it’s important to have a professional come out and take a closer look.
Termite dust on the base of the wall
The dust from termites can be a tell-tale sign that you have an infestation. This dust is actually the insects’ feces, and it will accumulate on the base of the wall where they are eating. Termite droppings are very small, and look like coffee grounds or sawdust. Worker termites will consume about 20 grams of wood a day, and excrete it as feces.
If you see any of these signs, you must call a professional immediately for a termite inspection. These insects can damage your home if left unchecked, so it’s important to take action as soon as possible.
Best Termite Control Tips for Your Home
Now that you know how to tell if you have termites let’s talk about some termite control tips. These tips will help you get rid of the insects, and keep them from coming back:
Use borate on wood before priming or painting
Borate is a great way to protect your wood from termites. You can find it at most hardware stores. All you have to do is mix it with water, and apply it to the wood with a paintbrush. Once it’s dry, you can prime and paint the wood as usual.
Use termite-resistant wood for building projects
Certain types of wood are naturally resistant to termites. If you’re planning a home renovation or other building project, consider using one of these woods: cedar, mahogany, teak, or bamboo.
Keep wood away from your home’s foundation
One of the main reasons termites invade homes is because the wood is too close to the foundation. If you have firewood, lumber, or other wood materials stored near your house, move them further away. At least 20 feet is best.
Fix any leaks or moisture problems in your home
Termites are attracted to moisture, so it’s important to fix any leaks or other sources of water in your home. This includes repairing leaky pipes, fixing holes in gutters and downspouts, and making sure your landscaping drains away from your foundation.
Get regular termite inspections
The best way to prevent termites is to have your home inspected for them regularly. Most pest control companies offer this service. Once a year is usually sufficient, but more often may be necessary if you live in an area with a high risk of termite infestations.
Following these tips will help you keep your home termite-free. However, if you already have an infestation, it’s important to call a professional pest control company right away. They can treat your home, and get rid of the termites for good.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you own a home, chances are you will need termite protection at some point. Termites are small insects that live in colonies, and feed on wood. They can cause serious damage to your home if left unchecked.
Flying termites, or alates, are not harmless. In fact, they can be a sign that your home is infested with termites. A flying termite’s wings are a clear sign that the insect has reached its reproductive stage, and is looking for a mate. Once they find a mate, they’ll start a new colony in your home.
You can usually get rid of swarming termites by using a combination of baiting, and chemicals. Baiting involves putting out food that attracts termites so they will come to the bait station and eat the food. The chemicals kill the termites that are eating the bait. You can also use pesticides to kill termites, but these have to be applied carefully, so they don’t harm people or pets.