Whether they are on your property or within your home, termites can cause significant damage. These destructive pests can also occupy your property for extended periods before they are detected. It is hard to notice the presence of termites before extensive damage is done.

Knowing how to tell if you have termites before they destroy your property will save you a lot of money as termites can feed on up to a pound of wood a day. The earlier you can detect the destructive pests, the better.

Here are some signs that termites on your property. We will cover general signs as well as the signs peculiar to the different types of termites.


After termites fully establish a colony, they send the young ones away to start a new colony. These young termites are known as swarmers. The process of leaving to develop new colonies is called swarming.

Termites swarm in spring and sometimes during fall. You can tell the presence of termites on your property if you notice the release of many insects that seem like ants. You may also find the swarmers on spider webs. Swarming is characteristic of both subterranean and dry wood termites.

Mud tubes

Mud tubes are characteristic of subterranean termites. They are built from soil, debris, and dry plant material to protect members of the colony as they travel to and from sources of food. Subterranean termites build mud tubes around foundations as a pathway to access properties. If you find dry cylindrical tunnels around your foundation, think subterranean termite infestation.

Wood flooring blisters

Blisters in wood flooring characterize the presence of subterranean termites. These blisters appear like water damage and occur because of the damage caused by termites to the subfloor.

Termite wings

Termite wings as an indication of the presence of termites on a property are associated with swarming. When the young termites land on a suitable location, they discard their wings, since the wings are no longer needed. You may find the discarded wings in areas such as around window sills. The wings of termites differ from those of ants because they are equal-sized. The wings of ants have varying sizes.


Droppings are associated with dry wood termite activity. As these termites feed on wood, they produce pellet-like waste, which looks like mounds of coffee grounds or sawdust.

Hollowed wood

When termites feed on wood, they distort the structure and create long grooves. Thus, when the destructive insects feed on wood and search for cellulose, they create hollowed wood. Termites create hollowed wood in areas behind and beneath walls and floors. Hollowed wood makes empty sounds when they are tapped.

Termite cement

When termites settle in an area, they make structural modifications to conserve moisture. The insects apply dried dirt to seal cracks in areas they settle in, especially around foundations. Unusual dried dirt covering cracks around your foundation could indicate the presence of termites.

As soon as you notice any of these signs, contact a professional to see if you have a termite infestation and work towards eradication. Check out this page for locations of professional pest removers. Also, note that this is not an exhaustive list of the indications of the presence of these destructive insects.

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