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 –
Tiny Pinholes On The Walls
Termite pinholes, also known as termite holes, are tiny holes on the walls, drywalls, and sheetrock that termites make.
And these tiny termite pinholes on the walls signify termite infestation.
Termites will use these holes to evict their frass and the dead termites.
You can ascertain subterranean termite presence on the walls if you can see mud tubes on the walls along with the pinholes.
These mud tubes are the tunnels that subterranean termites create to travel from one place to another on a hard surface like walls or furniture.
The mud tubes are a combination of their feces and saliva.
However, these termite holes on the walls can also mean a new termite infestation waiting to happen.
Drywood termites invade your home by flying in as winged termites.
These winged termites are reproductive termites. They mate inside your home, lose their wings, and drill inside the wooden walls.
And when they do so, they make holes in the walls.
The winged carpenter ants also use the same method to invade homes.
So, the tiny holes on the wall can also signify carpenter ant infestation if there’s no other sign of termites on the walls.
On the other hand, the tiny holes on the walls are also exit points for the winged carpenter ants and winged termites when they leave their current colonies.
Vague Tube-Like Tunnels Or Marks On The Wall Or 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.
An Empty Hollow Sound When You Tap On The Wall
Hollow sounds from the wall tapping it signify termites in the walls.
These hollow sounds are because of the continuous feeding that termites do for months.
But your home’s walls, especially the wooden walls, can sound hollow despite no sign of termite presence, like the mud tubes on the walls.
Subterranean termites create mud tubes as they invade homes from the soil.
The absence of mud tubes on the walls and the hollow sound of tapping tell you one thing – drywood termites infestation.
Drywood termites don’t leave signs like mud tubes. They invade homes as winged termites flying into your home.
These termites attack the structural lumber of your homes like the joists, beams, and eaves and the higher regions like the attic and ceiling.
The wall will cave in on tapping, and you’ll notice mazes or tunnels running inside the wall.
On top of it, you may also notice termite larvae crawling inside the wall.
Other signs of drywood termites in walls are termite wings on the floor and termite feces on the floor.
If you notice both signs, then conclude that termites have damaged the wall beyond repair.
Any delay from you on hiring a pest controller for termite treatment will put your entire home’s structural integrity at risk.
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.
Inflated paint chunks 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.
Cracks On The Baseboards
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.
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.
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.
Best Way To Get Rid Of Termites In Walls
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.
In case of severe termite infestation, all DIY measures fail to remove all the termites and their colonies in homes.
Setting up termite baits, using boric acid, and using termite killing spray have their limitations.
They’re useless in removing heavy termite infestation.
Plus, you might not know where to drill in the right places on the walls to ensure that the termite killers are effective.
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.
Also, when there’s a drywood termite infestation then spotting them can be really tough because these termites are always in small numbers.
So, it’s always best to hire a pest controller for termite treatment in your home.
The pest controller will 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 will do only an insecticide treatment.
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 are Mark and Jim. We dabbled with bugs and pests for most of our lives. And we provide information and hacks that work in making your home pest free.