In this guide, you’ll find out the seven signs of termites in walls.
These seven signs are glaring signals that scream at you, “your home is under termite invasion.”
If you’re not eagle-eyed about these signs, you will end up spending a lot of money on both termite treatment and damage repair.
That’s why this post is both a life-saver and money-saver for you.
But by the end of this post, you’ll know how to tell if you have termites in walls like a pro.
That’s not all.
You’ll also find out why you shouldn’t do any DIY methods to get rid of termites in the walls.
How To Tell If You Have Termites In Walls – The 7 Signs
If you’ve ever thought that it’s only wood that is at the risk of damage from termites, think again.
When termite infestation spreads deep and wide in your home, termites can destroy walls, clothing, and even books.
So, how to tell if you have termites in walls?
It’s by spotting the damage at the earliest that termites inflict on walls.
Here are the seven subtle signs of termites inside walls –
1 – Tiny Pinholes On The Walls
These pinholes can be both on a standard wall and even on drywall.
Pinholes are eviction points of frass and dead termites.
Termites will eject the dirt that they make while drilling inside the walls through these pinholes.
2 – Vague Tube-Like Tunnels Or Marks On The Drywall
If there’s drywall in your home, then it’s a real treat for termites.
Drywall is made of paperboard that contains cellulose. And cellulose is the primary nutritional source for termites that keep them alive.
Cellulose is present in wood, paper, and fabric. That’s why termites eat them all.
These vague tube-like tunnels on drywall are an indication that termites are chewing and tunneling through the drywall.
When the infestation becomes severe, these faint lines become more prominent.
You’ll be able to see the entire route of the tunnels on the drywall.
In some cases, especially on the exterior walls touching the soil, you’ll notice termite mud tubes on the walls rising from the ground.
3 – An Empty Hollow Sound When You Tap On The Wall
On observing the first two signs, tap on the wall.
If you get a hollow sound, then it confirms the termite’s presence in the walls.
It shows that termites are eating through the walls from inside. They’re spreading deeper and broader in your home.
4 – 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.
Chunks of bubbles start to form on the wall’s surface. And the wall paint starts to peel off from different parts of the wall.
Why does that happen?
It’s because when the wall becomes hollow, the moisture reaches the surface of the walls.
Heat makes the moisture evaporate. And the evaporated water wants to escape.
So, that causes the lumps on the wall. The paint starts to peel off.
It also makes the wall lose its luster and look like it’s damped.
5 – Cracks On The Baseboards Of The Wall
If termites have risen to the wall, do you think they’d have spared the baseboards?
Subterranean or ground termites attack homes from underground.
And when they’re inside the walls, they must have crawled up from the bottom of the wall.
The baseboards are the first to bear the brunt of termites.
Cracks will appear on the baseboard.
A gentle tapping on the baseboard can even break the baseboard.
If not, you’ll hear a hollow sound when you tap the baseboard for sure.
If you’ve got a wooden floor, then it’s a disastrous combination.
From the baseboards, the termites will spread to the floor.
If termites have destroyed the floor, the wooden floor will buckle under when you walk on it.
One of the telltale signs of termites on the wooden floor is termite sightings on the carpet or rugs.
6 – Door And Window Frames Lose Grip With The Walls
Termites inside walls make the wall around the door, and window frame anchors weak.
That makes the doors and windows wobbly. They get displaced from the position they were initially.
That leads to difficulty in closing and opening the doors and windows.
You’d also notice a slight tilt, either towards the left or right, on the doors and windows.
That’s not all.
Termites from the walls will also reach the door frames and window sills.
They’ll also eat it and make it hollow from inside.
7 – Termite Dust At The Walls’ Base
You’ll find dust at the base of the walls.
The dust includes both termite feces and wall dirt. Termites eject these from the tiny pinholes.
This dust is also known as termite dust. You’ll also find termite dust underneath wooden structures and furniture.
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.
These can be the early signs of termites in the walls too.
But, being at the early stages of infestation, you won’t notice these signs unless you specifically look for them.
4 Signs Of Drywood Termite Damage In Wooden Walls
The previous section dealt with the signs when subterranean termites get inside a standard brick wall.
Subterranean termites and their cousins, the Formosan termites, are the most damaging termites in the US.
They inflict damages worth billions of dollars.
These termites primarily attack the walls, and wooden material, from underground.
But there’s another species of termites that flies into your home. These termites are known as drywood termites.
As they fly in, they’re more prone to infest the higher portion of your home.
So, their primary targets are things like structural wood inside your home like wooden beams and joists, attic, timbers in the roof, and ceilings.
That’s why they’re hard to detect. And so are the damages they cause.
Unlike the subterranean termites, the drywood termites don’t need moisture to survive.
Their colonies or nests are smaller than the subterranean termites.
So, by the time you’d notice the damage or realize their presence, it might be too late.
The four signs of drywood termites in wooden walls or structures are –
- Frass underneath the wood.
- Hollow sound when you tap on the wood or the structure
- Visible tunnels on the wood’s surface
- Termite wings on the floor
The primary sign indicating that infestation has worsened is when you can easily see the tunnels on the wood’s surface.
It can also mean that drywood termites have made the wood hollow from inside, and they’re now at the surface.
The wood becomes so brittle that you can break the wood with a light punch.
Broken wings on the floor are from the swarmers of drywood termites.
These swarmers are alates. Alates are reproductive termites that leave their old nests or colonies to search for a new home to invade.
Once they get inside a home, they mate, lose their wings, and drill inside the wooden structure to start a new colony.
How To Get Rid Of Termites In Walls – The Only Way
Termites in walls are a severe threat to your home’s structural stability and your safety.
And termites in the walls also mean that termite infestation is high.
Relying solely on DIY measures will NOT get rid of them.
It’s because the DIY methods will not penetrate the deepest corners of the walls to kill the termites.
Secondly, termites are tough pests, and they multiply very fast.
Killing a few will not ensure, even by a mile, that you’ve eliminated termites in your home.
So, what’s the best to treat the walls for termites is to hire a pest controller.
The pest controller will be the best person to determine how severe the infestation is, how much damage termites have done, and what type of treatment your home needs.
The pest controller may recommend tenting, also known as fumigation, or treat your home for termites with insecticides.
Fumigation is the process of gassing your entire home with a poisonous gas known as Sulfuryl Fluoride.
But if the infestation is in selected areas of your home and hasn’t spread, then the pest controller can do only an insecticide treatment.
The pest controller will tell you what treatment is suitable for your home only after a proper inspection.
Setting up termite baits, using boric acid, and using termite killing spray have their limitations.
They don’t work when the infestation is severe.
Plus, you might not know where to drill in the right places on the walls to ensure that the termite killers are effective.
But if you want to take matters into your hands, then the video below tells you what you’d need and how to do it.
But a few words of caution. Do read the instructions on the insecticide labels, wear appropriate protective clothing and a mask while doing the process.
When you’re exposed to insecticides, then it can have severe consequences on your health.
So, it’d be best not to use any DIY methods to treat termites in the walls.
Hire a pest controller now if you’ve observed signs of termites in walls.
Here’s how you can tell if you’ve termites in the walls –
- Tiny pinholes on the walls
- Vague tubular tunnels on the wall’s surface
- Empty hollow sound when you tap on the walls
- Flaying wall paints and bubbles on the walls
- Cracks on the baseboards of the walls
- Doors and windows lose grip with the walls
- Termite dust at the base of the walls
These are the seven signs of termites in the walls. If you are not careful and have been ignoring these signs, then it can be too late.
That’ll entail massive termite treatment and home repair costs.
Detecting these signs at the early stage of termite infestation is the key to preventing the termites from inflicting severe damage in your home.
To get rid of termites in walls, it’s always best to hire a pest controller rather than doing it by yourself.
We’re Mark and Jim. We were serial pest killers for almost all of our lives. Through this blog we spread pest murdering tips to people like you who want to keep their homes pest free.