What Is Evidence of Termites?


Quick Answer

Swarms of flying insects are often the first sign of a termite infestation the homeowner may notice. These swarms of insects, piles of discarded wings or termite bodies indicate that termites are forming a new colony. Other potential signs include mud tubes along the foundation of a home or hollow-sounding wood.

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In order for the swarm to create a new colony, they must leave the home, often through a window. Therefore, homeowners may find bodies of insects on the floor under a window or on a windowsill.

Subterranean termite workers require contact with soil or wood all the times unless they are swarming. In order to provide protection as they travel from the colony, they build mud tunnels up the sides of the foundation of the house. These mud tubes are about the size of a pencil. If the tube is active, the termites quickly rebuild any portion if the homeowner breaks off the foundation.

As termites forage, they remove the inside of wood, leaving only a hollow shell. Knocking on the wood causes a hollow sound. Pressing the tip of a knife or screwdriver into the wood reveals the hollow inside. The presence of dirt inside the wood differentiates termite damage from water damage.

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