Signs of termites.

Termites—a $5 billion threat.

In their search for food and moisture, termites will squeeze through cracks as narrow as 1/32 of an inch to enter your home. Construction or structural joints, foundation cracks, tiny gaps around plumbing penetrations, and other service lines are all potential entry points. And once they’re in, undetected termites can do untold damage. 

Although species vary throughout the United States, subterranean termites are the type most likely to attack your home. Their underground colonies can contain millions of termites and they may also colonize and travel through shelter tubes above ground. But you may never see evidence of them until a pest management professional or after a home remodel reveals the damages. Termites cause >$5 billion worth of damage each year in the U.S. alone—damage not covered by most homeowners’ insurance.

How to tell if termites are present in your home or nearby?


Termites are found across most of the U.S. and pose a constant risk of termite infestation. Unfortunately, there may not be any warning signs of termite damage. However, there are several things you can look for to detect the presence of termites.

Signs of termites include:

  • Termites swarm (flying termites emerging from the colony) often after a rainfall event.
  • Termite damage or evidence in or around windows and doorframes.
  • Termite damage or activity at wood-to-soil contact areas of the structure.
  • Shelter tubes appear on or around the foundation.
  • Baseboards and floors may sound hollow.
  • Dead termites or termite wings on windowsills or along walls.


The best way to determine the potential presence of termites in your home is with a thorough home inspection from a pest management professional.

How much damage can termites do?

Termite damage can be substantial and should not be taken lightly. Without annual inspections from a pest management professional, termites can go unnoticed for years while continuing to damage your home. The realities of termite damage:

  • Termites cause damage in hidden areas, including within walls in areas near moisture, on piers and beams, inside crawl spaces, and other wooden structural elements inside basements or roofing, among others.
  • Unchecked, this damage can be truly devastating, costing individual homeowners thousands of dollars in structural repair.

In addition to damaging your home, termites can seriously damage movable wooden objects like furniture, and wood detached from your home, as well as other cellulose materials like books and paper.

How termites get into a home?

Termites can enter homes with as little as 1/32-of-an inch opening. In addition:

  • Termites can follow tree roots and construction conduits such as pipes and footers to enter homes.
  • Termites constantly forage and evaluate the size and quality of food resources as they seek out cellulose.
  • Termites can be in your home for several years with very few visible signs of activity.
Pest management professionals

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