Termites are one of the most costly and destructive pests that homeowners can face. Termite infestations can compromise the structural integrity of a home while also causing thousands of dollars in damage, all while going completely undetected. In fact, an established termite colony can eat up to a pound of wood per day.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of termite damage repair is $3000 but this number can vary widely depending on the extent of the damage. The average cost of termite treatment is about $550 but this can range anywhere from $200 to $900 for an average sized colony. Larger infestations can range from $1200 to upwards of $2500. To help prevent this costly damage, it is important to identify signs of termites early to help prevent an infestation from growing. Here are 8 of the most common signs of termites.

1. Clicking Sounds

Soldier termites will bang their heads against wood or shake their bodies when their colony is disturbed to signal damage to the other termites. This produces a clicking sound that can be heard when you place your ear next to infested wood.

2. Flying Termites

Flying termites, also known as swarming termites, are young termites who leave the nest to find a mate and establish a new colony. The presence of these swarmers indicate that there is an established colony nearby. Hundreds of these termites leave the nest at once and are often mistaken for flying ants. They will often get stuck in spider webs. If you check the spider webs around your home and find termites in them it is a good indication that there is an active colony nearby. Termites will also lose their wings after finding a mate. They will then crawl to their new nesting site and start their new colony. The presence of these discarded wings can also indicate a colony nearby.

3. Hollow Sounding Wood

Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving a hollow void in the middle of the piece they are consuming. When you knock or tap on the damaged wood it will sound hollow or papery. This is a good sign there are termites in your walls.

4. Hard to Open Doors and Windows

Termites produce moisture when they eat and tunnel through the wood of door and window frames. This causes the wood to warp, making them hard to open. This can be a sign of termites in your home.

5. Galleries

Termites create tunnels in wood, also known as galleries. These can be difficult to see from outside a piece of wood but can be seen if wood is broken or damaged and the inside exposed. If you see any galleries in broken wood pieces in or around your home there is a good chance there is an established colony nearby.

6. Frass

Frass is another name for termite droppings. Drywood termites push their feces out of small holes near the entrances of their nests. This leaves small, black marks and a dark, powdery substance around the area they are infesting. Frass is one sign of termites that is always looked for on an annual termite inspection.

7. Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites require a moist environment to survive, as well as protection from their predators. For this reason, they will build tubes and tunnels, known as mud tubes, from mud and cellulose. These tubes resemble small brown straws. They are often found near foundations, water pipes, crawlspaces, attics, and basements and they are a sure sign there is an active termite colony nearby.

8. Uneven or Bubbling Paint

Uneven or bubbling paint is a sign of moisture buildup. This is usually caused by one of two things: water damage or termites. Termite eating patterns also make wood weak, causing it to sag and for drywall to take on the appearance of being water damaged.

It is important to get a termite inspection from a licensed termite control company every 1 to 3 years. The inspection can cost from $50 to $200, depending on the size and condition of the home with the average inspection costing $100. The annual termite inspection can help identify these signs of termites in the home and hopefully catch them early before they cause significant damage to your house. If you recognize any of these signs of termites in your home or just want to set up a termite protection service, contact a professional pest control company who can thoroughly inspect your home and provide appropriate termite treatment.