How to Find Mounds of Termites in Garden, Walls or Ceiling? What Does a Termite Nest and Mound Look Like?


In order to know where to look for termite nests first, you should know what they are guided by when choosing a place for building and what their nests look like. Since different kinds of termites are not the same, their nests are neither the same. What does a termite nest look like? How to find termites nest? Let’s see answers.

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Subterranean insectes

Thus, nests of subterranean termites are located in moist soil, from 4 to 18 inches below surface. Their nests consist of numerous galleries, interconnected with tunnels. Such a nest can be 330-690 feet in diameter.

To get wood, provide the colony with ventilation and maintain proper temperature in there, they build tunnels and mud tubes from this nest towards the surface. A house basement can serve as a good source of wood. However, they never settle in the very house.

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.

Drywood termites

Photo2Unlike subterranean ones, Drywood termites can establish nests inside any source of dry food:

  1. Hardwood floors.
  2. Roof material.
  3. Support timbers accessed under eaves.
  4. Furniture.
  5. Fallen trees on yards.
  6. Wooden frameworks of old household appliances.

Of course, in wild nature they only inhabit fallen trees. Even though they can survive without water better than others, they still need it, so they prefer inhabiting areas near sources of water (leaky pipe, water heater).

Structure of their nests is quite similar to subterranean ones’, but all the chambers and passes of Drywood termites’ nest are situated in wooden items and the termites themselves don’t lay the mud tubes.

Instead, they come from the nest into the surface through barely visible kick holes.

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?

Mound-building termites

In jungles and savannah of Australia, South America and Africa mound-building termites live. Only they can build several feet tall termite mounds to get accommodated in them. Fortunately, non-tropical species don’t. Their mounds are extremely complex.

Signs of a nearby Drywood termite nest:

  1. Presence of fecal pellets, especially on wood items.
  2. Alates, flying around.
  3. Alates’ wings shed onto surfaces.
  4. Tiny holes or buckling paint on the wood.
  5. Living termites are run across from time to time.
  6. Wood, damaged at bearing points and resonating with a dull thud when hit with a hammer.

Signs of a nearby Subterranean termite nest:

  1. Alates, flying around
  2. Alates’ wings shed onto surfaces
  3. Living termites are run across from time to time
  4. Presence of mud tubes near foundation, which connects underground nest to upper sources of wood. These tubes are brown, dry and cylindrical in appearance.
  5. Dark areas or blisters in wood flooring
  6. Wood, damaged at bearing points and resonating with a dull thud when hit with a hammer.

How to detect a Drywood termite nest

Photo3To find termite nest in house, you’ll need:

  1. Flashlight.
  2. Pointed screwdriver.
  3. Light hammer.
  4. Ladder.
  5. Protective suit (knee pads, bump cap and coveralls).

Then you’ll have to inspect the entire house by sounding and probing:

  1. Tap with the hammer.
  2. Listen to the sound.
  3. If the sound is hollow, poke the area with the screwdriver to make sure.

You should pay particularly close attention to the following searching termite mounds in yard or garden:

  1. Wooden sidings.
  2. Exterior trim.
  3. Eaves.
  4. Windows.
  5. Doorframes.
  6. Roof eaves.
  7. Sills.
  8. Exposed ends of rafters.
  9. Porch roofs.
  10. Stair trellises and carriages.
  11. Supports.
  12. Wooden roof shingles.
  13. Cornices.
  14. Wood trim.

Indoors, check every inch and every dark corner, don’t overlook these parts:

  1. Door and window frames.
  2. Trim.
  3. Skirting boards.
  4. Windowsills (look if there’re feces and wings on them).
  5. Insides of built-in cabinets.
  6. Wooden paneling.
  7. Exposed beams.
  8. Places that are usually warmed up.

How to detect a Subterranean termite nest

Because Subterranean termites’ nests are located underground, you should do some digging to find one. As you can guess, they prefer take up their residence by the things they can eat – dead trees trunk, mulch and foundation.

Photo6However, those termites may be hidden so deep, that you would better just give up on the idea of finding the nest and simply treat all the soil around your house, barns, warehouses and all other wooden building you’re trying to protect.

After that they can never eat them whenever they live. Or you can use baits and any other treatment that doesn’t require precise detection of the infestation source.

How to detect a termite mound? Look at it.

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?

Useful articles

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

Hope that this article will help you to detect and destroy the nests easier. But, of course, as in any business, you should call a professional if you can’t handle it yourself.

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