What to Look For

Mud Tubes
Pencil-thick to inch-wide tunnels on foundation and crawl-space walls (above) shelter subterranean termites traveling to and from the nest. If you see cream-colored insects when you break open the tubes, your house is infested. If you don't, the colony may be dead or using another route inside.

Flying Swarm
Streams of winged termites indoors (or piles of shed wings) almost always means your house is infested. Seeing them outdoors is not necessarily cause for alarm.

Damp Wood
Most termites prefer moist habitats: next to foundations or masonry, beneath leaking gutters, or near overgrown bushes. Look for bits of mud or dried dirt in the galleries they hollow out.

Blistered Wood
Termites chewing into dry wood usually leave a thin veneer, which may appear blistered or dark and breaks through easily when pressed.

Bulging Floors, Ceilings, or Walls
Formosan termites may be building satellite nests between joists or studs. Ridges on wallpaper could be tunnels for subterranean termites.

Holes and Droppings
Pinholes with piles of sand-grain-size pellets indicate drywood termites. Bigger holes may be signs of powder-post beetles or carpenter bees.
Ask TOH users about Framing

Contribute to This Story Below

    More in Framing & Insulation