How to Look for Signs of Termites

Homes all over the country can be infested by the dreaded termite. This insect will work quietly and devastatingly inside the structure of your house and can do serious damage if not removed. There are two types of termites: subterranean termites and drywood termites.

Termites tunnel into wood and will cause structural damage if left untreated.

The subterranean termites are found all over the United States while drywood termites are mostly local to Southern California. Here are some pointers on how to look for signs of termites.

  1. Look for signs of termites by inspecting your house. Subterranean termites live under concrete and other hard-to-get-at places where they have breeding communities that require natural moisture. They then build mud tunnels on exterior surfaces to move around from place to place.

  2. Drywood termites infest dry wood in places like homes, fencing and dead trees. Look for signs of of drywood termites in the form of little sand-like rounded grains of wood in piles that will be found around window sills, posts, stumps or any cracks or joints around woodwork.

  3. Firmly push the tip of a screwdriver into wooden posts and beams inside of your house and beneath crawls spaces at several locations. If the wood is solid, the screwdriver tip will not penetrate. If the wood is infested, the screwdriver tip will break through the outside of the wood and into the tunnels that the termites make.

  4. Watch for swarming termites from underneath concrete slabs near your house in the spring and fall. Swarming termites look much like swarming ants, and many times will swarm inside of your basement where they will be attracted to windows and be easily found.


If you think you may have termite damage, call in a professional as serious damage could be taking place in the structure of your home. Proper treatment is best handled by professional exterminators.