What do termites look like on the wall


Termites are very small and similar in size to ants, which often leads to confusion. There are also several different types of termites, which can make figuring out which control method to use challenging. In fact, knowing the key differences between ants and termites is a good starting point for identification. Knowing the types of termites you’re dealing with is the next key factor for professionals to determine.

Owing to their secretive nature, termites can be hard to detect, especially with an untrained eye. You are far more likely to spot the signs of termite damage before you spot termites themselves.

There are different types of termites, but there are some very destructive species that like warm, moist, areas. So, cities and areas like Miami, Atlanta, and Charleston can be affected by these species of termite.

As with any other pest, correct identification ensures the use of the most effective control methods and allows you to choose the most appropriate prevention steps to try and avoid problems in the future. You can discuss options such as chemical barriers or other methods to keep termites away.

Need help identifying termites? Call Ehrlich today at 1-800-837-5520 for advice and to schedule a FREE termite inspection of your home or business.

Think you have termites in your home?

Click here to set up an appointment to discuss our termite treatments.

What do termites look like?

Do termites really look like ants? Termite swarmers can look like flying ants, and they are often confused.

The difference between these two pests will greatly impact the type of service needed to control them in your property.

Often a suspected problem with termites, turns out to be a problem with carpenter ants or fire ants, because they look so similar.

Here’s how to establish the general differences in appearance and behavior between ants and termites:

Waist – Termites have a straight waist, while ants have a pinched waist.

Antennae – Termites have straight antennae while ants have bent antennae.

Wing Length – Termites wings are the same length while ants have wings of different length.

Look for discarded wings around window sills – Flying termites (also known as swarmers) are often confused with flying ants, because both their winged mating cycles occur during the springtime. However, flying ants do not shed their wings. If you have seen these flying insects in your property, you can be fairly certain you have identified termites if you’ve also found discarded wings.

Look for differences in body shape – The image below should help you identify important differences in body shape of termites and winged ants (termite is on the right, ant on the left):

Have you spotted termites in your home or workplace? As these insects are highly destructive, you should get professional advice and termite control from Ehrlich right away. Our termite control specialists know how to spot termite eggs, larvae and which types of termites might be causing the damage.

Why is identification so difficult?

Even armed with the above information, it may still be hard to make a correct identification using the naked eye. Bear in mind that termite swarmers are only about ¼ inch long – about the same size as a pencil eraser.

Identification is made even more difficult by the fact that termites often remain hidden away in properties for years without the owner’s knowledge. As already mentioned, the first indicator of a potential problem is usually visible evidence of termite damage.

Ehrlich’s termite species guide offers greater detail on what termites look like and how to recognize the common features between termite species.

What are the types of termites?

What kind of termites are you seeing in your home? Click here to find out.

Identifying termite species

All types of termites can cause damage to your home, but knowing a bit more about the different species of termites can help identify them more easily. Depending on where you are in the country can also determine the types of termites you may have to contend with.

The location of your property as well as its component structure will both have an impact on the termite species, which you may be at risk of.

Generally speaking, incidence of termite infestation is much higher in the southeastern states, such as Florida, and the west coast states, such as California, and gradually decreases the further north you travel in the country.

Here are some of the most common termite species found in the U.S. Subterranean termites are one of the most common species found throughout the U.S.

The top 3 most invasive species of this type, include the Eastern subterranean, Western subterranean and the Formosan subterranean termites.

Eastern subterranean termites are the most prevalent and can be found on the east coast in states like Georgia and as far west as Utah. Western subterranean termites are mostly found along the west coast and inland through to Nevada.

Formosan termites – are a particularly serious type of subterranean termite, but are not as common. Formosan subterranean termites are found primarily in Louisiana, Mississippi, along the Gulf coast.

Drywood termites – can also be found in the US, sometimes nearer to the coast although they don’t need moisture to survive. They are prevalent along the gulf coast as well as on the west coast in California.

Dampwood termites – live in damp and rotting wood and mulch, and can often be found near open water. They can enter your home through wood that meets damp soil.

Termites with wings

The primary function of termites with wings, or swarmers, is to reproduce and generate new colonies. They have two wing pairs, and the presence of these insects indoors signifies that a building is likely infested. Flying termites can commonly be found swarming around window sills or exterior lighting because light attracts them.

These insects will turn into the queens and kings of new colonies. Termites with wings depart from their nests and fly when the conditions are appropriate. The males and females will swarm together in the air. After they land, the swarmers will shed their wings, mate, and start new colonies.

Control and prevention of termites after identification

Once correct identification is made, the most effective solution plan can be offered to quickly bring the problem under control. Ehrlich offers conventional termite treatment which uses liquid termiticide treatment and other methods include the use of monitoring and baiting systems.

Identifying termites from their damage

At Ehrlich, we confirm the invading termite species through a visual identification rather than just looking at the evidence of the damage to your building and its location.

However, some of the points below could be of help to you, when checking your building for signs of activity:

Subterranean termites begin their feeding process (damage) from the ground up and typically enter a building through the sub-structure. Homes with crawl spaces are at great risk. It is here you should look for evidence of damaged wood and mud tubes. Wood damaged by this particular species develops “galleries” (hollow tunnels), which run along the grain of the wood.

Drywood termites typically enter structures near the roof line or other exposed wood to begin building a colony. Inspect your attic for evidence of damaged wood. Look for tiny holes in the wood with evidence of frass collecting nearby. Probing the wood can also expose galleries as well.

Having experienced a termite infestation, most people will be eager to ensure they do not have the same problem in the future. Ehrlich can give you simple steps you can take to “termite-proof” your home or business and the prevention plans can offer further help.

If you suspect you have termites, call us today at 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online to arrange a FREE termite inspection for your home or business.


Termite Wall Damage

What Does Termite Wall Damage Look Like?

Holes and cavities within walls can indicate the presence of termites. Walls are particularly susceptible to termite damage for a number of reasons: they are accessible from the ground, and their surface area is considerable.

Common signs of termite damage to a wall include:

  • Small pin holes, where termites have eaten through the paper coating on drywall and/or wallpaper. You may see dirt in a hole made by subterranean termites. Drywood termites do not leave soil behind.
  • Faint ‘lines’ on drywall. (As termites tunnel through the paperboard on drywall, you may be able to see a map of their tunnels from the outside of the wall.)
  • A hollow sound when you tap on the wall.
  • Bubbling or peeling paint.
  • Baseboards that crumble under slight pressure.
  • Jammed doors or windows. (If termites damage structural components, the house can settle or shift in a way that affects the operation of doors and windows.)

Termites can remain hidden within walls and floors, so it may be difficult to discover their presence. Periodic professional inspections can help detect activity before the termites have time to cause significant damage.

Subterranean Termite Wall Damage

Subterranean Termites are the most common cause of termite damage in the U.S. They live in loose, damp soil and create underground tunnels towards food sources. Subterranean termite colonies can become very large, so if you notice any potential activity there’s a good chance that many more are close by. Therefore, it is wise to have a periodic termite inspection in order to prevent or reduce the amount of damage caused by these critters.

Looks like water damage

Evidence of subterranean termites on walls and ceilings often looks like the beginning stages of water damage.

You should keep an eye out for the following:

  • buckling wood
  • discolored drywall
  • paint with bubbles in it

Subterranean termites create mazes in areas they’re inhabiting, so if you see any unusual patterns or small, pushpin-sized holes in walls, call your termite control provider as soon as possible.

Drywood Termite Wall Damage

Drywood termites live in and feed on wood, so they are particularly drawn to studded walls, attic areas and furniture. They do not require contact with soil, and their colonies are typically smaller than their subterranean counterparts. Due to their smaller colony size, evidence of activity or an infestation is slow to develop and often difficult to spot.

Hollow sounding wood

Drywood termites eat wood from the inside out. If your walls sound hollow when you tap them or you find that wood is crumbling when touched, you likely have a termite problem. Once termites have burrowed deep into your wooden structures, you may be able to see the mazes they create. It’s possible for this to happen in your walls, furniture or floor boards. If you’re able to see the mazes, there is probably a full-blown infestation. Since this type of damage could indicate larger issues, be sure to call your termite control provider as soon as you spot any signs.

The surface area of walls exposed to soil is generally larger than other parts of a home. This large surface area appeals to termites as a food source, as many insects can feed on the same piece of wood without having to travel and forage too far.

Termites cause more damage to walls than to most other parts of infested homes: because walls are thinner, an infestation spreads more quickly and severely compromises the strength of walls. Cheaper materials, such as laminated plywood or particle board, are often rapidly affected.

However, this type of termite damage to walls can be prevented. By choosing the correct materials, having a pest control professional pretreat the home, and having a regular termite inspection by a termite control specialist, your home may remain termite free.


Termite Damage Signs – What Does They Look Like? (Pictures)

Termites are as tiny as ants, but when they function as one, they may possibly cause billions of dollars in damage. In the United States, termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damages every year, says National Pest Management Association. And in fact, more than four million houses in the US are at risks of termite infestation annually.

Either way, termites do not only cause superficial damage. Actually, they eat most parts of your house including:

  • Walls studs
  • Ceiling joints
  • Posts
  • Floor Joists
  • Support beams

To reduce the cost of a termite damage, early detection of signs of infestation is needed. But unluckily, detecting their presence can be a challenging task especially if don’t have an idea what does termite damage look like.

If you want to know what does termite damage like then keep on reading this article.

In this article you will find:

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

  1. Ceiling Damage

  1. Termite Damage on Foundation

  1. Wall Damage

  1. Drywood Termite Damage

Signs of Subterranean Termites Damage

Often, signs of subterranean termite damage go unnoticeable because these termites work under the wood surface.

However, some indications that there is a subterranean termite damage are the following:

  • Winged termites flying near your doors and windows
  • Mud-lined and open channels in a weak lumber
  • There are mud tubes spreading from the soil to the wood.

Not until the swarms are fully-blown subterranean termite interior damage might not become obvious. Sometimes, termite damage looks like water damage.

Swollen ceilings and floors and buckling wood, are common outside signs of subterranean termites. Also, they smell like mold or mildew.

On the other hand, these species of termites get into food sources that are above the ground using mud tunnels. These tunnels are made from the termites’ feces, saliva, and mud which can be found close to the infested homes foundation.

Signs of Drywood Termites Damage

Drywood termites build their feeding galleries and eat all of the wood or casing the wood’s surfaces. For that reason, you can identify the damage caused by drywood termites by being nearly fully eaten with only a thin and rippled layer of coated surface left unbroken.

Even so, the signs of this damage will only become visible if the colony is already dug in infected stuff. Also, this damage is commonly seen in antique furniture. Though, it may also appear in walls, floors, and even new pieces of furniture, doors, and windows.

Video About Termite Damage To Houses

Carpenter Ant Damage vs Termite Damage: What’s The Difference?

Carpenter ants and termites are both insects that have the ability to destroy wood in their unique and own ways. One consumes wood, while the other one builds its home in wood structures by making holes.

Either way, keep on reading and find out what’s the difference of carpenter ants damage and termites damage.

  1. Termites Damage

Termites can nourish on any kind of wood. However, these insects are strained to wood that is damaged with water. Unless they feed in a moist shaded area or moist ground, termites, on, do the majority of their work on wood (inside).

Aforementioned, termite damage is quite similar to water damage, bubbling wallpaper, dripping ceiling, sagging floors, and bulging walls.

Termites can cause serious damage to our homes especially if you didn’t get rid of them immediately.

  1. Carpenter Ants Damage

Carpenter ants prefer the type of wood which has been unstiffened through water damage. However, these insects are more capable of eating over sound wood since they set tunnels systems and galleries.

Actually, this damage is commonly done inside of the wood. But these insects can grind on outside exposed wood as well.

Carpenter ants damage have several visual traits. For instance, if you notice any wooden structure that has been chipped or scrapped, you’re certain that these insects are the real culprit.

Damage created by carpenter ants isn’t as serious as the destruction made by termites. However, carpenter ants coats might cause significant damage as the years passed by. Because, as the total of individuals in a colony raises, they’ll keep on expanding over the wood that leads to further damage.

Home Insurance and Termite Damage: Will I Get Paid?

Homeowners insurance is specifically designed to cover damage and risks which are sudden and accidental. Even so, insect damage like termite damage isn’t included in homeowners insurance. It means, as for the termite damage to your house you have to pay on your own.

The reason why homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover termites’ damage is that it can be prevented.

Either way, there are two cases in which your home insurance will cover damage made by termites.

  • First, when your home collapses entirely from termites.

If your home collapsed because of hidden insect damage, you will get paid. However, there are some conditions that you need to meet. When the guarantors said “collapse” the building should be broken to pieces. However, collapse doesn’t include bowing, sagging, expansion, bulging, shrinking, or cracking.

Furthermore, termites must be out of sight and brought the damage practical damage ahead of time. But, if you already know that there’s infestation and did not prevent it, the insurer may not support you.

  • Second, the cause of damage is something you are covered for.

One of the main grounds of termites is moisture in homes. However, if the moisture is caused by water damage, leaking pipe for actually, your home insurance might cover you. But before you receive the compensation, the insurer will check the cause thoroughly.


Termite damage is something that every homeowner should not ignore. However, in order to avoid serious damage, knowing what termite does damage look like and its sign is very important.

On the other hand, if you notice some signs it is best to fix it as soon as possible. Better yet, hire a professional termite inspector as this person is knowledgeable when it comes to termites. Also, if you have a homeowner insurance you need to check if the damages made by termites are covered.


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