Termites | Posted: February 8, 2023

Signs Termites are Eating Your Home (with Pictures)

Termites may be tiny insects, but they can create enormous problems for homeowners. Referred to as “silent destroyers,” termites are wood-destroying pests that can rapidly damage the structural integrity of a home.

It’s important to understand what termites eat and what attracts them to a home to protect your property from them. Read on to learn about the diet of termites, signs of infestation, and what to do when you discover termites in your home.

What Do Termites Eat?

Termites eat wood and survive off the cellulose they find in their meals. Cellulose is a component found in plant cell walls. Termites can also eat other materials containing cellulose, such as paper, cardboard, and fabrics, but wood is their preferred food source.

While termites are associated with destruction to most humans, they are essential decomposers in nature. Termites help break down dead wood in forests and balance our earth’s ecosystems. However, termites quickly become a problem when they infest homes and structures made of wood.

Signs Termites are Eating Your Home

Termites are not always easy to detect but spotting them before they do too much damage is critical to protecting your home. The following are just a few signs that you might have a termite infestation:


Hollow-sounding wood:

If you tap on your floors or walls, and it sounds hollow, termites may have eaten away at the inside of the wood.

missing wood siding from termites

Mud tubes:

If you notice small, narrow mud tubes hanging from your ceiling or walls, it might be the pathway of termites.

mud tubes covering wooden support structure

Winged insects:

If you notice a tiny, winged insect around your home, it could be a swarmer. Similarly, you might find discarded wings, as termites shed their wings when they swarm.

termite alates, winged termites

Visible shelving on wooden surfaces:

If you notice what looks like horizontal or vertical lines of missing wooden material at baseboards or door frames, you may have termites. This damage is commonly referred to as shelving.

signs of termite damage in the form of buckling

Structural weaknesses:

A sagging porch, a collapsing floor, and cracked paint can all be signs of termites at work.

wood damage caused by rotting and termites

It is important to remember that these signs could indicate another issue, such as water damage or an alternative pest. Only a professional pest control specialist can help you determine whether or not termites are the problem.

What Should You Do If You Think You Have Termites?

If you think you have termites, the best thing to do is act right away. The longer you leave a termite infestation unchecked, the more damage it will create.

Follow these steps:
  1. Contact a pest control inspector who specializes in termites: A licensed and qualified pest control professional can inspect your home and determine if termites are the issue. They can then recommend the best treatment plan for your situation. Dodson Pest Control technicians are highly familiar with an extensive variety of wood-destroying pests and can help you identify a treatment plan.
  2. Reduce moisture: Termites love moisture and need it to survive. Fix leaks and ensure that your crawlspace is well-ventilated to reduce the chances of attracting termites.
  3. Get rid of wood debris: If you have piles of wood stacked up alongside your home, you could be inviting termites into your residence. Make sure to clear away wood debris and stack firewood at least 20 feet away from your house so any outside termites don’t migrate indoors.

Seeing signs of termite damage?

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