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Because termites either live inside wood or underneath the ground, it can be very difficult for homeowners to see the wood-eating insects. However, termites often leave behind clues that they’re feasting on your home.

Here are a few of the most common signs of termite infestations:

 

Subterranean Termites: Wood Damage

Subterranean termites damage wood according to a distinctive pattern. These cellulose-loving insects can leave nothing behind but the wood grain.

Subterranean termite damage may be hidden inside the walls of a home since this species destroys wood from the inside out.

 

Discarded Wings

Termite swarms may take place inside or outside of a home as mature termites leave the nest to start new colonies. Soon after swarmers take flight, they shed their wings. You may find small piles of wings in spider webs and on surfaces around your home’s foundation, like window sills.

 

Termite Swarmers

Swarmers from mature colonies typically leave the nest at one of two times per year - during the spring or during the fall. The exact timing of the swarms varies based on the species and weather conditions. Swarms on the exterior of a home may be missed by homeowners, as they are typically a brief event during the morning or afternoon – a time when many people are not at home. Formosan termites also can swarm at dusk.

  

Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites build mud tubes (also known as shelter tubes) to serve as bridges between their colony and the wood they consume. These tubes are made of tiny pieces of soil, wood and debris, and are used to protect the colony from predators and conserve moisture.

 

Termite Mounds

While termites in the United States cause billions of dollars in damage every year, no North American termite species is known to build mounds. Termites that construct their colonies above ground live primarily in Africa and Australia.

 

Termite Droppings

After consuming wood, drywood termites often leave behind frass or droppings. These tiny fecal mounds often indicate a nearby termite infestation.