A termite infestation compromises the structural integrity of your home. These voracious pests often go undetected for long periods of time which can lead to thousands of dollars in repair and treatment costs for homeowners. Identifying termites early can help stop this damage before it gets too far out of control. One way to do this is through an annual termite inspection from a licensed termite control professional. In the meantime, there are also red flags that can warn of the presence of termites. Here are the top 6 signs of termites in your home to look out for on a regular basis.

1. Discarded Wings

Swarming termites, also known as alates, are young, winged termites who emerge in the spring to mate and establish a new colony. Once the swarmers have landed, they discard their wings, often near window sills and doors. These discarded wings are also found in spider webs around your home. The presence of swarmers indicates an active termite colony nearby. Discarded wings can oftentimes be the only outwardly visible sign of termites.

2. Mud Tubes

Mud tubes, also known as shelter tubes, are the trademark sign of subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are the most destructive species of termite. Mud tubes are made up of soil, wood, and debris and are usually found near a home’s foundation. Subterranean termites build mud tubes for two reasons: to provide protection from predators and to provide moisture while travelling between their colony and their food source.

3. Damaged Wood

Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving the center of a piece of wood hollow. Termite damaged wood will sound hollow or papery when tapped. This process can also cause blistering of the wood. Tapping on wood panels in your home is a common component of an annual termite inspection.

4. Water Damage

Termites can cause lots of issues in your home that mimic those from water damage. Oftentimes people mistake termite damage for water damage. Uneven or bubbling paint, hard to open windows, and warped doors can all be a sign of either the presence of termites or a buildup of excess moisture in your home.

5. Frass

Frass is another name for the feces of drywood termites. These termites leave wood-colored droppings behind as they eat their way through wood. Small piles of these pellets either inside or outside your home can be a sign of termites.

6. Banging Sounds

Clicking or tapping sounds can be heard inside wood that is being eaten by termites. Soldier termites will bang their heads against wood or shake their bodies in order to signal the other termites in the colony when they feel threatened or sense danger.

Termites can be devastating to a home. Be proactive with termite prevention by investing in an annual termite inspection and keeping an eye out for these signs of termites on a regular basis. If you suspect you have a termite issue or want to get a head start on preventing them, contact a professional pest control company who can inspect your home and provide you with the most appropriate treatment and prevention plan.