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termite frass next to infested furniture

8 Ways to Know You Have Termites (Including the Less Obvious Signs)

If you haven’t experienced a termite problem up until now, you can consider yourself lucky.  At Hoffman's Exterminating Co., we know that termites are extremely common across most of the U.S. and can be found in every state except Alaska. Though small in size, these pests cost American property owners literally billions of dollars in structural damage every year.

If you do have a termite problem, you should act fast to avoid extensive property damage. However, some signs of a termite infestation can be less obvious than others. But, how do you know if you have termites? We’ll explain each of these “red flags” in more detail below.


Watch out for these telltale signs of a termite infestation.

1. Swarmers

Have you seen what looks like flying ants around your property? These might actually be winged termites searching for a mate and a new place to start a colony. Discarded wings are another sign that these “swarmers” have been on your property and have found a place to colonize.

2. White Ants

Unless some undiscovered species has miraculously appeared on your property, those “white ants” are actually termites. You can also tell an ant from a termite by the shape of the antennae. Termites’ antennae tend to be fairly straight, whereas ants’ antennae have a ninety-degree-angle bend.

3. Termite Droppings

As termites tunnel through wood, they discard their droppings through holes they chew in the wood. Those droppings make little piles that look like mounds of sawdust, ranging in color from tan to dark brown.

4. Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites use dirt and their saliva to make tunnels. They use these “mud tubes” to travel between their colony and food source while avoiding dehydration and predators.

5. Tunnels in Wood

Sometimes you can see the grooves in wood where termites have tunneled through. You’re more likely to spot this kind of damage on furniture and lumber, where it isn’t hidden behind a wall.

6. Hollow Wood

When termites chew extensively through a piece of wood, it will make a hollow sound when you knock on it. If you see cracked or bubbling paint, this is also a fairly obvious sign that you’ll find hollow wood underneath. In some cases, there is only a “shell” of paint left, or the wood has become so weak that just pressing on it lightly with a screwdriver is enough to break it.

7. Clicking or Tapping in the Walls

Sometimes you can hear the click of termites chewing. In other instances, something can startle the termite soldiers and cause them to raise an alarm for the rest of the colony. They do this by “headbanging,” knocking their heads repeatedly against whatever hard surface they’re holding onto.

8. Windows and Doors That “Stick”

Termites produce moisture as they tunnel through wood. If these pests are chewing around your windows and doors, this can cause the frames to warp. This can make windows and doors hard to open and close as a result.

It can be difficult to know how to tell if you have termites, but with the above signs to look for you should be able to notice when your home may be experiencing a termite infestation.

Trust Hoffman's Exterminating Co., Inc. to eliminate termite infestations on your property ASAP with tested, 100%-effective Termidor® Termite treatment. Call our termite control experts today at (800) 615-3920 or contact us online.