Termites look like ants with white wings that eat wood and can cause considerable damage to your home. These are some signs that you might have an infestation:
You can hear them in your walls. Faint movement and tapping could be termites. Look for tiny holes in your sheetrock, plaster, wallpaper and moldings. Dirt channels or ripples that go up the length of your drywall is likely termite activity. Tapping and prodding on the wood around your home may reveal termite activity or damage if the sound is hollow.
You see their droppings. Termites keep their homes clean, so they tend to deposit their offal outside of your walls.
There are dark or soft spots in your wood. Easily scratched wood may be infested. Wood floors will droop, buckle, or sag if termite-damaged. Sawdust may be present. You’ll also see discolored or blistered wood from termite tunneling damage.
You find mud tunnels, tubes, or mud piles. These will appear near your foundation.
Unfortunately, you can’t always tell if tunnels, mounds and other signs are current, so if you’re buying a new home, make sure you have a termite inspection by a professional service. And, if you’re a homeowner, call a professional termite exterminator to remediate any damage. Check your home periodically for signs of infestation, particularly in damp areas such as basements, laundry rooms, crawlspaces, etc.
Check with your neighbors to see if they’ve had termite activity lately. When other houses are treated for infestations, their termites might head over to your house.