How to Know if You Have Termites

Most termite species are subterranean, meaning they live underground. They like moisture and position themselves near or underneath a good food source, such as your home. Since they like to stay where it is dark and damp, it can be difficult to detect them. Here are some signs to look for:

Mud tubes

Mud tubes are the easiest sign to detect. These pencil-width paths lead from the nest directly into your home and make it easy for termites to avoid sunlight. Check for these in the surrounding land, in crawl spaces and in your basement.


Reproductive termites grow wings and fly during spring and fall. They will shed their wings, which you may see in piles in or around your home.

NOTE: Flying termites and flying ants are very similar in appearance. Call a termite professional to correctly identify which insect you have.


Drywood termites, which do not require as much moisture to survive and will not be connected to the ground or soil like subterranean termites, leave sawdust-like piles around windowsills and cracks in woodwork or beams. You might also see what looks like collections of dirt at the base of walls and in corners.

Weakened wood

Long, thin cracks and sagging can be signs that wood has been hollowed out by termites.

NOTE: Holes in wood are not commonly caused by termites, and may be a sign of beetles or carpenter ants.

If you see any of the above signs, contact a professional immediately for an inspection. Early detection is the best way to protect your home from further damage.

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