Termites – How Do You Know If You Have Them?

Should You Be Worried?

Did you know that most insurance plans don’t cover treatment or repairs due to termites? Since a home is typically your largest asset and investment you want to make sure that you use preventive measures to avoid termite damage.

How Do You Know If You Have Termites?

Unfortunately, you might not be able to ever see the actual termites since they live underground and in the walls of your home.

The US Environmental Protection Agency states that termites rarely emerge from soil, mud tubes, or food sources through which they are tunneling. Most people are not aware they have termites until they see a swarm or come across damage during construction.

Appearance – Telltale Signs

Since you likely won’t see termites, look for these signs:

  • Termite droppings, which look like small, ridged, wood-colored pellets.
  • Mud tubes on exterior surface.
  • Wings are roughly equal in length.
  • Antennae are straight and may droop.

Since some of these signs are difficult to detect, we recommend regular inspection by a pest-control professional.

Tips for Preventing Termite Infestation

Make the Structure Less Attractive to Termites

EPA Safe Pest Control suggests that during construction, use a concrete foundation and leave a ventilation space between the soil and wood. Cover exposed wood surfaces with a sealant or metal barrier.

Maintain the Termite Prevention Features

  • After construction, keep the soil around the foundation dry through proper grading and drainage (including maintenance of gutters and downspouts).
  • Reduce openings that offer termites access to the structure (filling cracks in cement foundations as well as around where utilities pass through the wall with cement, grout, or caulk).
  • Fix leaks immediately.
  • Keep vents free from blockage, including plants.
  • Ensure that trees and shrubs are not planted too close to the structure and do not allow them to grow against exposed wood surfaces.
  • Do not pile or store firewood or wood debris next to the house.
  • Inspect periodically to help ensure that termite colonies do not become established. 


Contact the professionals at Houseman Services and set up a free inspection of your home. Houseman Services offers a wide range of pest, termite, and lawn solutions. We have been servicing homes and businesses in the Athens, Clarke County area since 1985!