Protect the House: Primary Signs of Termites in Walls

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Each year termites cause significant damage to structures and crops in subtropical and warm arid regions of the planet.

Experts estimate that homeowners annually spend billions to fight the infestation of these insects and to repair damage caused by termites.

Early detection is very important to limit the extent of the damage caused by termites, although it is quite difficult to do.

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Homeowners seldom see termites, which in turn live in underground nests and eat the wood inside the walls. However, there are ways to detect their presence.

If you live in a region that suffers from invasion of these parasites, follow the tips below to detect damage caused by termites.


How to tell if you have termites in your walls or not? There are several signs of termites in walls that could be described below. Determine where the termites are in the walls of your home. Tap on the walls with a screwdriver to determine where the infestation of termites is.

Listen for a hollow sound as you tap with a screwdriver, then explore the tree by clicking with the screwdriver to visibly observe termite activity.

Photo 2Look for the other signs of infestation by termites.

If you look closely, you will notice signs of termites, even if not the termites themselves.

To the visible signs of the presence of a colony of termites are related:

Tunnels that stretch from the earth to the ground and the wood are signs of termites in drywall that could be recognized easily. When ground termites exhaust their natural resources of wood, they will begin to move to buildings.

They do this by building a small closed paths or tunnels to provide secure access to the house. Tunnels are made of soil, saliva, faeces and other materials.

The tunnels indicate that you have active termites that need to be taken measures for their destruction.

Learn more about subterranean termites: signs of their activity; best methods of treatment and DIY methods. Eastern subterranean termites and their tunnels and tubes with photo.

Wood termites live inside wooden constructions, including the structural beams, furniture and hardwood floors. Due to the fact that they live in places that they feed in, they are almost never seen outside the colony.

But they leave traces of their presence. Wood termites push fecal balls and litter outside their tunnels and chambers. These are mounds of wood colors accumulate on the floor under the infected section of the tree.

Learn more about drywood termites: signs of their activity; best methods of treatment: spot treatment and DIY methods; how to get rid of them in furniture?

Carpenter ants also throw out materials outside of their nests. These mounds are composed of different materials and have the form of conical piles along the cracks in the baseboard.

Listen to the prompts. Performing periodic inspection of the house, take a large screwdriver and beat it by sections of the tree. If the tree seems to be hollow, it might be corrupted by insects feeding on them.

Advise: inside the house, attach the stethoscope or other device to different walls. You will not hear the termites, but when carpenter ants burrow in their cells, they make a soft rustling.

Inspect the damage. If you suspect a termite infestation, try to cut the piece of wood. Different types of termites leave on the tree different signs.

Ground termites eat soft wood along the grain. After that, on the tree remains distinctive traces that resemble honeycombs. Subterranean termites should be stopped immediately after you detect their presence.

Photo 3A species of termite, Coptotermes formosanus thanks to its huge number is particularly voracious.

A colony of this species can accrue more than a million individuals.

If nothing is done, these parasites can cause serious damage to homes, fences and poles.

Wood termites dig large sections, eating the tree along and against its fiber.

Damage from them looks serious, but not as much as from ground types.

Colony wood termites usually amount to several thousand and to reach such amount they need to spend a few years. And even when they reach such a number, in a year this colony eats about 230 grams of wood.

To detect termites, you can also do the following:

  1. Browse wooden products or materials of construction in your home. In some places, you can see small round holes.
  2. In some places under wood products, you can see small piles of frayed wood.
  3. Check if tiny reddish-brown is visible anywhere, reddish-brown or black excrements.
  4. Tap with a handle from a screwdriver on wood. If you hear any sound typical of voids, then the termites have already created their home inside.
  5. If possible you can use a thermal imager, which in the presence of the termites will show inside the tree the dissipation.
  6. Inspect the inside and outside walls of the basement in search of ground movement. Earthen termites live in the soil near moisture sources, but to feed they come to wooden structures paving for this purpose the underground tunnels from their abode.
  7. Inspect for damage wooden frame of the house on the ground floor level, particularly at the junction of the walls and foundation, as well as under the front door. First carefully inspect everything with a flashlight. Attention! Outside damage can be invisible. So tap the wood with a handle of a large screwdriver and using a large sewing look for a void.
  8. Call the specialists on search and destruction of termites.
Tip: Termites cannot tolerate light, so when you search it is necessary to give preference to the darkened areas of your home where the daylight is minimized.

But keep in mind that there are many other signs of termites in house walls.

How to destroy termites in the walls?

Photo 4The extermination of the entire colony and not just the termites in the walls is important to prevent damage to other parts of your home.

What you’ll need:

  • a screwdriver;
  • a shovel;
  • termiticides;
  • termite baits;
  • protective clothing.


Destroy the mud tubes outside your home and dig a trench next to the foundation. Dig a trench 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide along the foundation.

Spray in case of open contact with termites in the trench to create a barrier for liquids around your house to prevent additional termites from entering.

We recommend! Always follow the instructions on insecticides in accordance with the label for best results.

Spray a Termiticide at the infected walls of your hose. Some liquid sprays are available at home and garden stores to treat the surface of the infected areas in your house and kill termites that come in contact with the chemical.

Install termite bait stations near the mud tube locations in the open air and other stations around the foundation of your house. The termites carry the poison back to the colony, where it is spread to other members and will kill the entire colony.

Caution! Wear protective clothing including gloves, goggles, and air mask when applying insecticides in your house.

Here you can learn more information about effective treatment method called tenting (fumigation): dangers for termites, preparing for fumigation and cleaning after, how long does this procedure last?

The prevention of termites

To prevent termites in your home, you need to take the following measures:

  • Build your house on a high foundation.
  • If a house is built low, then we can surround it with a trench 39*39 inches and cover it with sand.
  • If your home is surrounded with a wooden fence, it is better to reinstall the latter on a hill of cement or cemented stones, so that the tree is not in contact with the ground.
  • Please note that around your house, water must not be accumulated.
  • If you find cracks or crevices in the walls of your property, fill them with sealant.
  • Do not allow water to gather and remain stagnant around your house for a long time.


The most common signs of termites in house walls you can see on pictures below:

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Useful articles

If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:

Helpful video

Signs of termite damage include bubbling between the paper and paint on sheet rock, watch video below:


Thus, determining the presence of termites in the walls can help to safeguard your house from destruction. In this article we have tried to disclose the matter fully, and we hope that the information offered by us will help you!

Good luck!

1 comment
  1. Dave

    You keep referring to “trees” but the article is about walls?????

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