Subterranean termites attack homes from the ground and they spread to your home’s walls.
In this guide, you’ll learn to spot the signs of termites in walls that are precursors of a massive termite infestation waiting to happen.
That infestation can bring your home down.
You’ll find out how these signs look like, where they show up, and the best way to remove the termites in your home.
Subterranean Termites Or Walls Termites – The Termite Species That Attack Walls
Subterranean termites are the most common termites that attack homes.
They’ve got two primary ways to invade homes – from underground and by flying in as swarms.
Let’s look at the first method.
Subterranean termites build underground colonies in your yard.
When the subterranean termite colonies expand, they start to look for new food sources. That’s the time when they move towards your home.
Subterranean termites will attack your home by building in tunnels from the home’s foundation.
Those tunnels spread out to the home’s floor and walls and ceiling. They’re in the form of mud tubes extending from the base of the wall.
Not to mention, the termites will also target any wooden components, like joists, beams, and wood materials like furniture, wooden floor and baseboards, that come in their way.
That’s how subterranean termites spread even in mobile homes.
The second way that subterranean termites use to attack homes is by flying in as swarms.
Flying termites, also known as the swarmer termites, are the termites with wings.
These winged termites belong to the reproductive caste of the termite colony.
Swarmers will leave their current colonies to find a new place to invade and to start a new colony.
Experts believe that when the current colony can’t accommodate the termites, many termites will develop wings and leave the nest.
Termite swarms occur in late spring and early summer. It’s during these period that many homes are vulnerable to termite swarmers.
When the flying termites enter your home, they’ll mate and lose their wings.
After mating, they’ll drill inside your home’s walls and wooden objects to start a new colony.
Drywood termites also invade homes as swarmers. However, drywood termites attack the upper areas of your home like attic, roof, shingles, and ceilings.
Let’s find out what are the common signs of termites in walls.
Tiny Pinholes On The Walls
The tiny pinholes on the walls’ surface are swarmer exit holes of the swarmer termites.
The winged termites living in the wall will create those holes to move out of their colonies.
Another angle to it is fresh set of termites have entered the walls.
The flying termites invaded your home, they mated, and they drilled into the wall. It’s the only way that drywood termites enter homes.
If that’s the case, then you’ll notice broken termite wings on the floor. Alates lose their wings before mating and drilling inside the walls.
These termite holes also have another purpose. It is to eject out their feces, which is also known as termite dust or frass.
These holes can also be visible on the drywalls, sheetrock, wooden walls, and beams.
Mud Tubes On the Walls
Subterranean termites make mud tubes, also known as the termite tubes, on the walls to reach their food source and to establish their colonies in your home.
Termites make these oblong tubes from their saliva and feces. The mud tubes also help them to avoid predators like carpenter ants that eat termites.
Most of the time, the mud tubes rise from the home’s foundation. It’s because subterranean termites attack homes from underground.
If you notice mud tubes on the walls, wooden floor, or baseboards, then it’s a clear sign of termites in your walls.
Termites create maze-like tunnels behind the mud tubes. These tunnels are also termites nest in the walls.
These tunnels are shelter tubes where the queen termites will lay eggs. Termite larvae also live in these shelter tubes.
The worker termites will create these tunnels and they’ll also feed the termite larvae and the queen.
An Empty Hollow Sound When You Tap On The Wall
Termites eat the walls from the inside. And that makes the walls hollow.
So, when you tap on the wall, it’ll also sound hollow. Hitting the wall a bit harder can cause a dent in the wall too.
It clearly shows that termites in walls have caused an extensive damage. It’s a clear sign of termite infestation that have spread in your home.
The Wall Paints Are Flaying Off
A termite-infested wall looks like it has water seepage inside it.
Suddenly, the wall looks like it has absorbed a lot of water.
Paint bubbles start to form on the wall’s surface. And the wall paint starts to peel off.
Why does that happen?
It’s because when the wall becomes hollow, it absorbs moisture.
In room temperature, the moisture begins to evaporate.
So, that causes blistering paint on the walls. Bubbles appear on the wall and the peeling paint starts to flay off.
It appears like there’s a severe water damage in the wall.
But that’s not a water damage. It’s a termite damage.
It also makes the wall lose its luster and make it appear damp. These are the visible signs of termites in your walls.
Cracks On The Baseboards And Floors
Subterranean termite invasion begins from the underground.
So, if you’ve noticed tiny termite holes and mud tubes on the walls, it’s time to look at the floor and the baseboards.
You’ll notice faint lines or thin lines with mud stains and cracks on the baseboards, drywalls, and on the wooden floor.
Further investigation can also lead you to telltale signs in things like structural beams planted on the floors.
To double check, tap on the baseboards or on the wooden floors. You’ll get a hollow sound. And if you tap a bit hard, the baseboards or the floor can also buckle under.
If there’s a carpet or rug on the floor, tilt it over. And don’t be surprised if you see termites in the carpet.
Doors Or Windows Lose Grip With The Walls
Termites in your walls will make the area around the door and window anchors weak by hollowing the wall from the inside.
That makes the doors or windows wobbly. They get displaced from the position they were initially.
That leads to difficulty in closing and opening of doors or windows.
You’d also notice a slight tilt, either towards the left or right, on the doors and windows.
That’s not all.
Dents also appear in the skirting boards when you mistakenly hit them with a vacuum cleaner while cleaning.
It clearly shows that there’s an interior damage that termites caused by constantly eating the board.
They’ll also reach your door frames, window frames, and window sills from the walls.
Termites eat the wooden window sills and make them hollow from the inside.
Termite Dust At The Walls’ Base
Termites dust at the walls base a sign of termite damage that many people confuse with normal dust.
The dust includes both termite droppings or feces and wall dirt.
They eject these from the tiny holes they make on the walls and on the damaged wood.
The dust appear as a mud pile right underneath the tiny holes on the wooden structures. This dust is also known as termite dust.
The termite dust looks different than the fine sawdust of wood. Termite dust includes termite feces.
So, you’ll notice tiny black pepper-like particles on the dust. It’ll give it a look of dirty sand with little black pebbles on it.
Presence Of Ants Near The Walls
Another signs of termites in your walls is ant activity on or near the wall.
Ants eat them. And a termite infestation in your home will also draw ants, especially the carpenter ants.
So, you’ll notice ants in your home too.
Best Way To Get Rid Of Termite Infestation In Walls And Home
Signs of termite damage take time to appear, especially in the case of drywood termites.
Termites eat the walls and the wooden structures from the inside, slowly making them hollow and weak.
If you’re noticing termites in walls, then it’s time to hire a pest control specialist for at least a termite inspection without wasting a second.
Professionals from reliable pest control companies will first do a thorough termite inspection of your home to determine the severity of termite infestation.
And then they’ll recommend measures like pest control with insecticide sprays and fumigation.
A pest control specialist can also detect the presence of termites long before the signs start to appear in your home.
Do not try to use DIY methods to get rid of termites in walls. Termite infestation is extremely hard to eliminate on your own.
Using DIY methods like keeping termite baits, using boric acid, and insecticide sprays can reduce termite activity for a few days.
But a lull in termite activity is not permanent and long term solution to the termite problem.
Removal of all the termites, including the termite larvae, active termites, termites nests, and sub nests are vital for treating termites.
If you don’t, then it’ll lead to a full blown infestation in your home.
It’ll also lead to irreversible structural damage to your home.
To fix termite damage of that magnitude is an added cost that will inflate the termite removal bill.
That’s why always rely on professional pest control to tree termites in your home.
Termites attack homes either by flying inside your home as swarmers or from the underground.
No matter what type of termite invasion your home faces, they’ll attack your walls.
This guide revealed the eight signs of termites in walls. Those eight signs are –
1. Tiny pinholes on the walls
2. Mud tubes or termite tubes on the walls
3. A hollow sound when you tap on the wall
4. Wall paints are flaying off
5. Cracks on the baseboards and floors
6. Doors or windows lose grip with the walls
7. Termite Dust at the wall’s base
8. Presence of ants near the walls.
These signs of termite can be present in both interior and exterior walls of your home.
There are other signs like broken wings on the floor and termite larvae creeping up on the wall’s or floor’s layer.
If you’re noticing these signs, it’s best to hire a pest control company to eliminate termites in your home.
Do not try to get rid of termites on your own. It won’t yield any results.