Termites can damage your home in many ways. There are a number of signs to look for that can help you determine if termites have invaded your home.
Look for wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it. Termites will leave a thin layer of wood on the exterior, as they tunnel through the interior. This can be found in beams or studs in your wall, as well as floor joists or siding.
Another sign of termite activity are mud tunnels, or tubes built along your foundation. These are travel tubes that allow the subterranean termites to go from the nest that contains moisture to the wood source that contains food.
Swarms of termites are another sign of damage and potential infestation. Swarms will usually occur in the spring as the termites molt and become adults. As they molt, the termites drop their wings. Check for piles of termite wings as a sign of swarms as well.
Look for paint that appears to blister, or areas that appear to have minimal water damage. Usually these signs are found indoors, but can be present in your basement or near your foundation.
Lastly, look for the termites themselves. The workers are white and wingless, while the reproductive males and the queens have wings, and usually black or brown in color.
Presence of any of these signs doesn't mean an infestation, but it's recommended that if you find termite damage to have a pest control professional inspect your home. Usually, companies will offer a free inspection. Once your home is inspected, if active termites are found, the pest control company will work with you to develop an extermination plan and ways to address future infestations.
Termite damage can be costly. Any prevention you do now will save you money in the long run.