Watch for Signs of Termites

Every homeowner in Austin, Texas dreads the day they'll see signs of termites on their property. There's a saying around here that termites will happen to every home, at some point. So it's best to stay ahead of them.

Austin hosts several types of termites, some of which cause extensive property damage if the colony remains unchecked. Learn what termites look like (workers, soldiers, and reproductive queens) and browse fun termite facts to be on top of your game.

If you suspect termites on your property, call YardDoc for a comprehensive inspection. Damage from wood-consuming insects like termites costs homeowners billions more each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, and windstorms combined!

10 Signs of Termites

Even one sign of termite activity could indicate an infestation. If you see any of these signs, take action to prevent termites from growing a colony that does harm and to minimize expensive repairs.

Structures should be inspected at least once a year to look for signs.

  1. Mud Tubes
    Mud tubes coming up from the foundation or spreading across walls. Subterranean termites use these tunnels to protect themselves as they move up from the ground into the walls or wood source.
  2. Fecal Pellets
    Fecal pellets from Drywood termites. These look like sawdust or small bits of wood in piles. Termite fecal pellets can be as small as 1/32 of an inch so they are not always noticeable until there is a pile of them.
  3. Discarded Wings
    After swarming to establish a new home, termites discard their wings. Finding these small, discarded wings is an indication that a swarm of termites has relocated to your property.
  4. Visible Termites
    They don’t like to be exposed to light, but you may find them after moving an item that was shielding them. You may also see flying termites outside your home.
  5. Wood Floor Changes
    Take note of warped or sagging wood floor or sub-floor. Also look for cracks, small holes, and discoloration.
  6. Drywall Spoilage
    Termites eat walls from the inside out. Therefore, damage may not be seen on the exterior. Watch for paint that is flaking, bubbling, or looks water-damaged, and tiny holes in the drywall (especially near baseboards).
  7. Compromised Wood Furniture
    Wood furniture and other wooden items, inside and out, are susceptible, too. If the wood is crumbling or it sounds hollow when you knock on it, you may have a termite problem you can't see.
  8. Working Condition of Doors and Windows
    Signs of termites include damage to window casing, aprons, sashes, and door frames. They may not open and close as they should.
  9. Roof Depressions
    Depressions or sagging on a roof or shingles could indicate a weak or collapsed area caused by burrowing termites.
  10. Termites at Work
    You may notice a faint clicking sound coming from your walls.
Pest Control - Drywood Termites Swarm - YardDoc
Termite Fecal Pellets - Austin TX Signs of Termites - YardDoc 300x300
Signs of Termites - Mud Trail on Bathroom Tile - Austin TX - YardDoc 300x300

Conditions that Lead to Termite Problems

Damage from termites compromises the structural integrity of your home as they eat through support walls and beams. They are capable of chewing through plaster and wallpaper too, which may result in drywall collapse when damage is severe.

  • Cracks in foundations.
  • Wooden posts or supports set in concrete that may be in contact with soil below.
  • Leaks in the crawl space below the structure that keep the soil moist.
  • Low foundation walls and footings that provide easier soil to wood access.
  • Soil-filled planters built up against the structure allow direct access to foundation cracks.
  • Wooden steps in contact with soil.
  • Wooden fences, trellises, and similar that are built up against your house.

Left unchecked, a Subterranean termite colony can grow to over 1,000,000 insects. Colonies of Drywood termites reach up to 10,000.

It’s also a frightening fact that termites can consume 2 to 3 times their body weight every day. Multiply this by the number of insects in the colony, and in six months, they can eat their way through several square inches of your home’s supporting timbers.

Termite damage is subtle at first, but becomes more pronounced the longer the insects are present. Sometimes, termite damage gives off an odor like mold or mildew.

City of Austin, TX Building Code

All additions and new construction projects must provide protection against subterranean termites in accordance with the adopted residential code. For all treatments, a third party termite report is required. A copy of this report shall be provided at the final building inspection.

Do You Have Signs of Termites?

Get a Certified Termite Inspection

In Texas, pest control technicians must go through a special training program before they can conduct certified termite inspections and provide termite treatment. A professional inspection includes a methodical evaluation with a prescribed reporting format.

It should cover all areas of the property including bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms where moisture creates a conducive environment for the termites to live. Exposed plumbing also provides an access point to the water they need. The water lines travel through the foundation or floor. Small gaps around these lines provide a route for termites to use as they come and go.

You should receive a comprehensive assessment of the current or prior state of termite issues (or other wood-destroying insects like ants and wasps).

Comprehensive Termite Inspection from YardDoc

Due to the prevalence of termite species and colonies in the Austin, Texas area, it's almost a guarantee that your property will experience termites at some time.

The best defense against these wood-damaging insects is regular inspections and ongoing pest exterminator services by trained technicians from YardDoc. Our technicians look for signs of termites to stop them before they do more silent harm to your home.

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