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Signs Of A Termite Infestation

Recognizing Termite Damage In Your Home

The most destructive species of termites living throughout the United States is the subterranean termite. These are wood-eating insects that can come up from the ground and feed on a man-made structure for years without detection. This termite group cost U.S. property owners over $5 billion annually.

If you don't have ongoing termite protection for your home or business, it is vital that you learn to recognize the signs.

structural damage caused by termites inside of a home in pennsylvania

Mud Tubes On Walls

All species of subterranean termite require moisture to live. They don't walk around on the surface of the wood they are feeding on; they work inside, safe from the drying effects of the wind and sun. Because of this need for moisture, most subterranean termite species don't live inside the structure they are feeding on. They live in the soil near it. And, they must establish tunnels on foundation walls and interior walls to get to their food source. These tunnels are most often found on exterior walls behind bushes, under decks, in crawl spaces, or in some other area that is shaded. They can also be found inside, on basement walls, in the backs of closets, and as far up as attic walls. These mud tubes can be large clumps of mud or as thin as a pencil. They may be clumped together or have the appearance of veins.


When a termite nest matures it will produce winged male and female alates. These are the reproductive termites we call swarmers. They are given this name because they take to the air in a swarm. Most people think that swarmers are a sign of an impending infestation, but swarmers don't travel far, and swarms don't last long. If you're finding winged termites on your exterior walls, it is likely that you already have a mature nest on your property.

Shed Wings

Since termite swarms don't last long, you are less likely to see a swarm of flying insects, and more likely to see the wings they shed after they mate. If you find a large number of transparent wings littered on your window sills, patio, deck, or walkways, you should consider having a pest control company do an inspection.

Damaged Or Hollowed Wood

Though subterranean termites seldom go outside of the wood they are feeding on, they may cause damage that is visible. This damage will most often be near the ground, especially if that ground is damp, or in an area that gets a lot of shade. Termite damage can look like the siding of your home was attacked by a hundred carving knives, or have the characteristics of wood rot. Its similarities with wood rot often allow this damage to go misdiagnosed.

If subterranean termites are eating a support beam in your home, that beam will sound hollow when you tap on it with the handle of a screwdriver. Worker termites create many channels in wood as they feed. This can make even the sturdiest wood brittle.

Clicking Sounds

Worker termites communicate with each other by tapping their heads on tunnel walls. If you have a wall with an active infestation, you should be able to hear this clicking when you put your ear against it.

Sticking Doors & Windows

Over time, termite damage can make it difficult to open doors and windows. As support beams and studs weaken, it can cause the frame of the structure to warp; by the time you see this sign, however, it is too late.

Other Signs

Before termites eat the wood of your home, they may feed on something in your yard. Subterranean termites can feed on mulch, wood piles, bushes, stumps, construction materials, fencing, and other objects and structures made of wood. They may also feed on a shed or an outbuilding before they begin to eat your home or garage. Look for external damage in places where there is shade or moisture. If you're able to, split the wood open, or lift the wood product up to check for tiny pale or yellowish insects crawling around inside, or underneath.

What To Do If You Discover Termite Damage In Your Home

If you live in our Pennsylvania service area, and you find signs of subterranean termites, take action and call Moyer Pest Control. Our team of termite specialists will root out the problem and guide you in options that will protect your property from termite infestations.

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