Signs of Termites

Termite infestations are often so severe because termites can go unnoticed until they cause extreme damage. While termites leave some signals behind, the signs of termites can be hard to pick out for the untrained eye.

To help you tell if you may have a termite infestation, we’ve created a list below that outlines some of the most common signs of termites.

Do You Have Signs of Termites?

If you have signs of termites in your home or business, please schedule your free inspection today. Our team of pest experts will determine if you have a termite infestation and develop a customized treatment plan.

Please remember that signs of termites might only become visible after a termite infestation is present for months or years. The best way to protect your home or business from devastating termite damage is to have your property regularly inspected by a licensed and certified termite professional. The highly-trained experts at A-1 Bonded Termite can spot the most concealed signs of termites and many other pests.

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    20 Common Signs:

    • Termites with wings or flying termite swarms (that look similar to flying ants)
    • Discarded piles of wings (resembling fish scales) typically near window sills, doorways, and other entry points
    • Bugs that look like white ants
    • Hollow or “papery” sounding wood or timber
    • Clicking sounds coming from walls
    • Sawdust or wood shaving piles
    • Droopy or discolored drywall
    • Visible “tunnels” within wood furniture or framing
    • Termite frass (termite droppings)
    • Damaged wood that may be crumbling
    • Buckling laminate or wood floors
    • Excessively creeky floorboards
    • Loosening tile floors
    • Patterns resembling a maze in wooden furniture
    • Mud tubes that climb the foundation of your structure
    • Small pin-sized holes in drywall
    • Tight-fitting or stuck doors and windows
    • Sagging ceilings or drywall
    • Peeling paint that may resemble water damage
    • Warped, bending, or blistering wood

    Termite Inspections & Prevention

    You may notice that signals of termites can mimic everyday wear, long-term wear, water damage, and even changing weather. It is for this reason that signs of termites can go unnoticed and why regular inspections are essential for protecting your home. A licensed and certified termite expert will differentiate between termite evidence and wear on your property.

    At A-1 Bonded Termite, we offer maintenance plans for both residential property annual control and property management annual control. Our experts will catch an infestation at the first signs of termites and provide preventative solutions to avoid future infestations.

    Have you noticed any of these signs of termites in your home or business? Call A-1 Bonded Termite today at 714-502-9230 to schedule an inspection!

    Flying Termites

    Termites with wings are known as alates, swarmers, or reproductive stage termites. Flying termites leave their existing colony to create new nests and mate. Alates are a darker color and are larger than working termites. Once they find a suitable place to build a new nest, these swarmers quickly shed their wings. Often, swarming termites will leave discarded wings that resemble fish scales near entry points such as window sills and doorways.

    signs of termites with wings
    ant iwth wing vs. termite with wings


    Flying termites closely resemble flying carpenter ants. However, there are a few key differences to help tell the two apart. Termites have shorter, straighter antennae while carpenter ants have bent antennae. The bodies of carpenter ants have three distinct regions, and termites feature a more uniform body shape. Termites also have the same length front and hind wings, while carpenter ants have longer wings in the front than in the rear.

    Drywood Termite Frass

    Termite frass is termite feces. Frass is one of the few visible signs of termites within a property. While drywood termites create their nests within wood structures, they create kick-out holes to push their frass. Frass can be found in piles near the kick-out holes and resembles a pile of dirt, wood shavings, or sawdust. The color can change depending on the wood that the termites are eating. Drywood termite frass pellets are oval-shaped, around 1mm in length, and have six concave sides.

    Drywood termite frass may look like any of the following:

    • A mound of sawdust
    • A pile of dirt
    • A heap of salt and pepper
    • Wood shavings
    frass the signs of a termite infestation
    mud tubes made from termite frass

    Mud Tubes

    Subterranean termites build mud tubes to create a bridge between the wood they consume and their colony. Mud tubes consist of soil, wood, and other debris and are usually the size of a pencil. Termites will build mud tubes where the ground meets a structure like your home, a shed, or even a tree. Mud tube tunnels help to protect the subterranean termite nest underground. They also serve to control the temperature and humidity levels for the colony.

    Termite Damage

    Three common species of termites within California are dampwood, drywood, and subterranean termites. These three termites have slightly different habits and can cause various types of damage throughout a property.


    Dampwood Termite Damage

    Water-damaged wood or wood that rests right on the ground attracts dampwood termites. Stumps, fallen logs, lumber, and tree branches left on the bottom also attract these pests. Dampwood termites are known to weaken homes by hollowing support beams, leading to costly repairs. These pests are silent and hide well, making it challenging to notice activity until it has become severe.

    Drywood Termite Damage

    Drywood termites build their colonies within the wood on which they feed. As drywood termites consume wood, they create mazes of tunnels within the wooden structures and furniture. In addition to destroying timber, drywood termites can create sagging ceilings and walls, ruin wood and laminate flooring, and compromise the integrity of entire structures.

    Subterranean Termite Damage

    Subterranean termites can cause widespread damage and may thrive within a structure for years without detection. Their colonies can include between 2-3 million foragers, and the workers consume wood around the clock. In addition to homes and other structures, subterranean termites may create their robust colonies in trees or free-standing wood poles.

    Subterranean termites often enter a structure from wood in contact with the ground, such as porch steps and supports, deck posts, and even door frames. They can also find their way into a structure through holes in concrete and cracks in the foundation or brick mortar. Once inside, these pests create their nests, reproduce quickly, and begin consuming wood at a relatively rapid pace.


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