termites moving in mud tube

Termites: A Detection Guide for Homeowners

4 Minutes

Are you concerned about termites turning your home into an all-you-can-eat buffet? If that’s the case, you are obviously not alone! Termites wreak billions of dollars in structural damage each year, and property owners spend more than two billion dollars treating them. This article discusses how you, as a homeowner, may detect and help protect your property from termites by taking effective preventative steps and knowing how to identify the signs of a termite infestation. 

How Do I Determine Whether I Have Termites?

The first line of defense against termites is awareness. Termites seldom emerge from soil, mud tubes, or feeding sources. Termites are usually discovered after a termite swarm emerges or termite damage is discovered during a construction project. There are several methods to find out whether you have termites. 

Termite infestations are identified by mud tubes, damaged wood, a blistered appearance on wood or drywall, and piles of wings which we discuss in more detail below. 

You should first start in the basement and make your way up to the top levels of the home, going room to room. Start by examining any wood beams, window sills, door frames, and walls for any signs of damage. Also, examine any spots where wood may have come into contact with any exposed soil. Basements with drywall and other build-outs provide the same issue as higher levels of the home, in terms of inspection, since there’s usually no way to see behind walls. 

Keep an eye out for regions of high moisture content, water damage, and timber in close proximity to the soil as you go through your home. 

How To Identify Specific Signs of A Termite Infestation

Mud Tubes 

Termites’ mud tubes may be identified by brown, lumpy streaks going up your wall. These mud tubes provide protection from predators and provide a safe haven for subterranean termites on their journeys. If you tear up the tubes, you may find worker termites rushing about Remember that just because a mud tube isn’t active doesn’t imply the termites aren’t there; they might be hiding elsewhere in the home or in the dirt outside.


Damaged Wood 

Use the end of a screwdriver or similar instrument to tap on any wood that seems to be damaged, blistered, or crushed, and listen for a dull, hollow thud. Active damage that runs parallel to the grains, the highways that worker termites use to deliver food back to their colony, may be discovered by probing the wood. Instead of termites, you may have a carpenter ant or powder post beetle infestation if you detect sawdust containing insect parts or small sawdust pellets below holes in the wood.



Termite wings are a telltale symptom of a termite infestation. They’re simple to spot since they’re all the same size and breadth, and they have a prismatic shine when exposed to light. Swarming termites are drawn to light, so you’ll probably find them near windows or other sources of light. This indicates they were unable to escape and establish a new colony underground, but it also means they are most likely inside your house. Look for any damaged timber or mud-covered holes in the room where the wings were discovered.

Additional Tips to Prevent A Termite Infestation

  • Drainage and correct grading of the soil surrounding the foundation should be maintained once construction is complete (including maintenance of gutters and downspouts). 
  • Make sure there aren’t any places where termites can get in and out of the building (filling cracks in cement foundations as well as around where utilities pass through the wall with cement, grout, or caulk).
  • Fix Leaks as soon as they are noticed.
  • Keep vents unobstructed, even by plants, at all times.
  • Avoid using mulch in your landscaping up along the house.  If possible use rubber mulch or colored stone instead.
  • Avoid storing or piling up wood or other rubbish near your home.
  • Inspect your home or have your home inspected by a professional pest control expert on a regular basis to guarantee that termite colonies can’t be established.

Knowing the proper signs to look for and some simple preventative measures to take can help you save serious money on repair expenses to your home. If you feel like you might have a termite infestation or have noticed some of the tell-tale signs of an infestation and need expert help, contact Procor Pest Control today to set up an initial consultation. 


Think You Have A Termite Problem?

Contact the experts at Procor Pest Control to schedule a no cost, no obligation termite inspection today, and protect your home today!