How to Tell if You Have Termites in Your Walls

By proofPest

Behind the pristine walls of our homes lies a potential danger that often remains unseen until it’s too late: termites. These tiny yet destructive insects can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your property, causing extensive damage that may go unnoticed for years. 

It’s not easy to learn how to tell if you have termites in your walls. These sneaky invaders often go unnoticed for years without proper pest management systems in place.

But fear not! In this informative blog, we will guide you through the subtle signs and clues that indicate the presence of termites within your walls.

Get ready to unravel the enigma of termites lurking within your walls. Together, we’ll learn to detect their presence, mitigate the risks, and secure the long-term integrity of your cherished abode.

How to Tell if You Have Termites in Your Walls

Through our expert insights and practical tips, you’ll learn to decipher the secrets these silent invaders leave behind. From the hollow echoes of wood to the mysterious mud tubes they construct, we’ll uncover the trail of evidence that leads to the truth about termites in your walls.

Whether you suspect the presence of termites or want to be proactive in protecting your home, this blog will empower you to take control. By understanding the signs and symptoms of a termite infestation, you can swiftly take action and engage in effective termite control measures.

Step 1: Check for Hollow Sounding Wood

Termites are a homeowner’s worst nightmare, slowly and quietly destroying the structure of your home without you even realizing it. One of the most common signs of termite damage is hollow-sounding wood. 

Here’s how to tell if you have termites in your walls with just one step! Grab a screwdriver or a small hammer and tap on the wood. It could signify termite damage if it sounds hollow or gives off a papery sound. Floorboards may even sound squeaky or feel weak

This is because termites feed on the cellulose within the wood, hollowing it out from the inside. As a result, the wood loses its strength and rigidity, and it may start to sound hollow when tapped or knocked on.

It’s important to note that some types of wood, like particleboard, may naturally sound hollow when tapped. So, it’s best to test various areas of the wooden structure to confirm whether the hollow sound indicates termite damage. 

Additionally, if you notice that the wood is easily pierced or crumbles when prodded with a screwdriver, it’s a sign that termites have been feasting on it.

Step 2: Presence of Mud Tubes

Unbeknownst to many, termites are skilled architects, constructing intricate passageways to travel between their nests and the abundant food sources they seek. These remarkable insects create what can only be described as “mud tubes” – their secret highways of survival. 

So, curious about how to tell if you have termites in your walls with this telltale sign of termite activity? 

As you scan the walls, watch for small, tube-like structures clinging to the surface. These are the notorious mud tubes, a testament to the tenacity and resourcefulness of termites.

Mud tubes are not your ordinary construction materials. They are meticulously crafted using a blend of soil, wood particles, termite saliva, and even feces! 

These seemingly insignificant tubes serve as crucial lifelines for the termites, providing them with moisture and protection as they traverse the treacherous terrain between their nests and the tasty feasts that await them.

To spot these mud tubes, focus on areas near the foundation, basements, crawl spaces, or any other damp and secluded spots where termites thrive. 

Be thorough in your inspection, checking your home’s interior and exterior walls. Depending on the termite species and their foraging habits, these tubes can extend vertically or horizontally.

As you face these muddy marvels, it’s important to remember that their presence is a strong indication of termite activity and is an indication that you have termites in your walls. Even if you spot only a few mud tubes, taking immediate action is crucial to prevent further infestation and potential structural damage to your home.

If you notice mud tubes in your property, it’s highly recommended to seek professional assistance from a reputable pest control company. They can assess the extent of the infestation, determine the termite species involved, and implement an effective eradication plan tailored to your situation.

Step 3: Keep an Eye Out for Termite Swarmers

Termite swarmers signify a mature termite colony actively seeking to expand its territory. These reproductive termites have wings and are often mistaken for flying ants, but they can be distinguished by their straight antennae, uniform waist, and equal-length wings.

When a termite colony has reached a certain size, usually after several years, the winged termites will leave the nest in a swarm to mate and start new colonies. The swarmers are attracted to light and warmth, so they are commonly found near windowsills and light fixtures.

After mating, the male and female termites will land and shed their wings. They will then search for a suitable spot to establish a new colony, often in soil or wood. Once a site is chosen, the female will lay eggs and become the queen of the new colony.

If you notice discarded wings around your home, it is vital to investigate further for signs of termite activity. This could indicate a nearby colony attempting to expand into your home. It is critical to act quickly to prevent further damage to your property. 

It is also important to note that termite swarming season varies depending on the species and geographic location. In some areas, swarmers may emerge in the spring, while in others, they may emerge in the fall. Understanding the swarm season in your area can help you be more vigilant in monitoring for termite activity.

Step 4: Look for Signs of Termite Frass

Drywood termites have a fascinating method of waste disposal: they produce small fecal pellets called frass. These pellets are often a distinctive sign of their presence and are a valuable tool to tell you if you have termites in your walls. 

Frass is typically found near infested areas or below exit holes created by termites. It resembles tiny, wood-colored grains or sawdust. The appearance of frass can vary depending on the species of termite and wood they infest. The pellets are usually elongated and have six concave sides, giving them a distinct shape.

Termites produce frass because they have a unique way of digesting wood. As they consume cellulose, the main component of wood, they extract the nutrients they need while expelling the waste in these fecal pellets. Termites keep their galleries clean and maintain a healthy colony environment by discarding the frass.

Finding piles of frass strongly indicates an active termite infestation nearby. It suggests that termites are actively tunneling through the wood and expelling their waste. It’s important to note that frass is typically found in small accumulations rather than large piles, as termites continuously remove it from their galleries to maintain cleanliness.

When inspecting for frass, pay close attention to areas where termites are likely to infest, such as wooden structures, furniture, or even trees. Checking for exit holes, damaged wood, or blistering paint can help you identify potential areas of infestation where frass may be present.

Step 5: Don’t Forget about Wood Damage!

Termites are notorious for their ability to silently and stealthily consume wood from the inside out, leaving the surface intact while causing significant damage beneath. One way to detect their presence is by examining the condition of wooden structures.

Want to know how to tell if you have termites in your walls? When inspecting for termite infestation, pay close attention to the texture and integrity of the wood. If you find that you can easily penetrate the surface of the wood with a screwdriver or even your fingernail, it may indicate termite activity. 

damaged wood, how to tell if you have termites in your walls

Termites weaken the wood by feeding on the cellulose within, hollowing it out, and compromising its structural integrity. As a result, the wood becomes softer and more fragile.

To test the wood, gently press a screwdriver or fingernail against the surface in different areas. Healthy, sound wood should feel firm and resistant to pressure. However, if you notice that the wood gives way easily, feels spongy, or crumbles upon minimal force, termites likely have been actively feeding on it.

Termites can cause extensive structural damage if left unchecked, compromising the stability of wooden beams, floors, furniture, and other susceptible areas. Soft or damaged wood is a clear sign of termite activity and should not be taken lightly. It is crucial to address the infestation promptly to prevent further deterioration and potential safety hazards.



When inspecting for soft or damaged wood, focus on areas prone to moisture or have a history of termite activity, such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, and wooden structures in contact with the soil. Termites thrive in moist environments, so these areas are desirable to them.

Check out this guide to learn the difference between wood rot and typical termite damage

proof.’s Termite Protection!

Get ready for year-round protection with our comprehensive termite control plan. We’ve got you covered, even against the formidable subterranean termites. Our technicians know how to tell if you have termites in your walls and can alert you at the first sign of an infestation! 

Free Thorough Inspection

Our termite experts will meticulously inspect your home, leaving no stone unturned. We’ll check the basement, crawlspace, foundation, perimeter, and any suspected areas for termite activity. This inspection is on us, so no worries about any charges.

Custom Treatment Plan

Once the inspection is complete, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your home. Our plan will address any possible existing termite issues and implement preventive measures to avoid potential future infestations. You’ll receive a detailed digital diagram highlighting the identified termite issues and our recommended steps for treatment and prevention.

Active Protection

We take action to eliminate termite colonies and safeguard your home. Our team strategically places bait stations around your home’s perimeter, filled with active bait. These stations intercept foraging termites, leading them to spread the bait throughout the entire colony. The result? Effective elimination of the termite population.

Annual Inspections

We don’t stop at treatment. To ensure ongoing protection, we conduct annual inspections of your home’s interior and exterior. We’ll carefully assess the effectiveness of the treatment plan and make any necessary adjustments. Plus, if you spot any termites or signs of activity throughout the year, simply call us. We’ll promptly inspect and treat your home at no additional cost.

With our comprehensive termite control plan, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is shielded from these destructive pests. Don’t fret if you don’t know how to tell if you have termites in your walls—let us take charge and safeguard your home year-round.

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Call proof. pest control at 888-291-5333, or send us a message online.