What Do Termites Look Like When They Are In Your Walls?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Do you know what do termites look like when they are in your walls? Termites are unseen pests that may cause severe structural damage to your house. Termite damage is challenging to identify, even by inspections because of where they dwell and locate food.

Thousands of termites may live in your walls and leave little to no evidence of their existence. They are, however, biting into the wood at the same time, perhaps causing damage that will be costly to fix.

Perhaps you noticed some unusual, small holes in your drywall or baseboards along the wall-to-floor joint. Or maybe you banged on the wall in a place you believed was solid, but it sounded empty.

Each of these indicators might indicate that termites are living and feeding inside your walls. If you suspect termite problem in your walls, act before they cause more damage to your property.

In this article, you will find out what termites look like on the walls.

Are Termites Visible To The Naked Eye?

Termites are pretty giant, although most pests are small.  Because of their wings, swarmer termites are the most noticeable. 

what do termites look like when they are in your walls

Termites are usually always visible, and you may even spot them in your pool when the weather is warm.  They are readily confused with flying ants, so be sure it is a flying termite before becoming concerned.

5 Different Types Of Termites

The five different types of termites are the following:

Drywood Termites 

Scientific Name: Incisitermes minor

These animals not only eat wood, but they also live inside of it.  They usually receive their moisture from either the wood or the atmospheric humidity.  Drywood termites are more commonly found in humid regions, such as coastal locations.

Drywood termites

Their colonies, however, are often much smaller than those of other species.  A dry-wood termite colony can include a few hundred to a few thousand individuals.  Winged males and females often mate and establish colonies in wood cracks and other holes.

The presence of their fecal substance, known as frass, is a frequent giveaway of a dry-wood termite manifestation.  Frass resembles sand or sawdust when piled and is commonly seen around doors and windowsills.

Dampwood Termites 

Scientific Name: Zootermopsisangusticollis

This species prefers moisture-rich, decomposing wood, as their name implies.  These termites are attracted to wood that has been exposed to leaks or natural moisture.  

Dampwood Termites

They destroy posts, poles, and moist wood constructions by forming a series of chambers within them.  It causes a sandpaper effect, irreversibly damaging the whole structure.

Subterranean Termites 

Scientific Name: Rhinotermitidae

Termites of this kind are the most frequent termite species.  They enjoy hot, humid temperatures like those found in the Deep South, although they aren’t limited to that region.  The fact that they reside underground gives them their name.  A single colony of these termites can have millions of termites.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites may be the most destructive of all termite species when causing damage.  Their jaws are saw-toothed, allowing them to bite into the wood and fragment it piece by piece effortlessly.  

A single termite may not have much impact, but an entire colony is a different story.  A colony may create damage that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and restoration if left unchecked for long enough.

Conehead Termites 

Scientific Name: Nasutitermescorniger

Coneheads make their nests in wooden buildings, trees, and the ground, just like Formosan termites.  They do not, however, only tunnel underground.  Instead, they migrate and occupy places the same way that ants do.  It aids their rapid proliferation and infestation.

Formosan Termites 

Scientific Name: Coptotermesformosanus

Formosan termites are the most destructive and aggressive of all termite species.  When they touch wood and begin to feed on it, these characteristics are enhanced. Their aggressive attitude stems from the fact that they reside in extraordinarily huge colonies.

Formosan Termites

The queen, who may live up to 15 years and lay up to 2,000 eggs every day, is at the helm of the colony.  A single colony might have millions of members in this way.

What Do Termites Look Like When They Are in Your Walls?

To identify the sign of termite infestation in walls, look up for the following signs on wood’s surface:

Hollow Sound

In locations where you suspect an infestation, softly tap the walls. Do they have a hollow sound?  The existence of the sound suggests considerable amounts of damaged wood; therefore, hollow-sounding walls might indicate extensive damage.

When tapping on the walls, you may see some crumbling in severe circumstances, so proceed with caution.

Termite Dust At The Base

Dust may be found near the base of the walls. Termite excrement and wall dirt are both included in the dust. Termites eject these from microscopic pinholes.

Termite dust is another name for this dust found beneath wooden constructions and furnishings. Termite dust differs from fine wood sawdust in appearance. Termite excrement is found in termite dust. 

As a result, microscopic black pepper-like particles will be seen in the dust.  It will have the appearance of filthy sand with little black stones on it.  These might also be indicators of termites in the walls.  

However, you won’t notice these indicators unless you check for them precisely because you’re in the early phases of an infestation.

Tiny Pinholes In The Walls

Tiny pin-sized holes in your drywall might indicate a termite infestation since they can indicate spots where termites have chewed through the wall. Drywood termites will not fill in these holes with soil, but subterranean termites will.  These holes can be used to explore or clear frass from a tunnel.

Wall Frames Lose Grip

Termites weaken the door’s wall and the window frame anchors inside the walls. The doors and window frames get shaky and become dislodged from their original location. As a result, closing and opening the doors and windows becomes difficult.  

The doors and windows would also slightly tilt, either left or right.  Termites can get into the door frames and window sills through the walls.  They’ll also consume it, hollowing it out on the inside.

Flayed Wall Paints

When you detect paint or wallpaper peeling or bubbling on your walls, the first thing that comes to mind is water damage.  It might, however, be a symptom of a termite infestation.

Termites, like all living things, require moisture to exist.  They may bring moisture into your home, causing a reaction between the moisture and the painted surfaces.

While bubbling or peeling paint isn’t a proven symptom of a termite infestation, it is a sign of wetness, which might signal an infestation.  Furthermore, if termites eat the wood below the paint, the bubble may split since there is nothing to hold it in place.

Mud Tubes 

Subterranean termites burrow beneath your home’s foundation and penetrate it from below. Sunlight and dry air make it difficult for these termites to thrive underground.  They’ll build mud tubes to shelter themselves from the weather and predators as they make their way into your home.

These dirt tubes are roughly the width of a pencil and are constructed of dirt.  Look for them near your house’s foundation.

As mud tubes can endure for a long time, they aren’t always indicative of a current termite droppings infestation.

Break off the top section of the tube on the ground and keep a watch on it for the next several days to see whether it’s active. As soon as you open the tube, you may notice termites moving within, indicating an active tube.

Cracks On The Baseboards

Subterranean termites, often known as ground termites, attack homes from below. They must have climbed up from the bottom of the wall once they were inside.

Termites are more likely to attack the baseboards or basement first.  The baseboard will begin to crack. A light touch on the baseboard might even cause the baseboard to crack.

If not, you’ll hear a hollow sound while tapping the baseboard. It’s a horrible mix if you have a wooden floor. Termites will spread from the baseboards to the floor.

When you walk on a hardwood floor that termites have damaged, it will buckle. Termite sightings on the carpet or rugs are one of the unmistakable symptoms of termites on the hardwood floor.

How To Prevent A Termite Infestation

The most helpful tips to prevent termite infestation are the following:

Maintain Landscaping: Allowing wood mulch and thick plants around your foundation. Also, keep an eye out for termite activity near fuel piles.

Reduce Moisture: Termites prefer damp, humid environments. Drain the water away from your property, mend broken pipes, and adequately ventilate places where moisture is prone to build up to keep your house and complex dry.

Proper Wood Storage: Wood, cardboard, and paper should not be stored directly on a dirt floor.  More than a headache may be caused by a termite infestation. Repairs are likely to be prohibitively expensive.  With that stated, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your property and destroy termites if they’re discovered.


Termites inflict more damage to walls than most other sections of infected homes: since walls are thinner, an infestation spreads faster and significantly undermines wall strength.

Less expensive materials, such as laminated plywood or particleboard, are frequently impacted. Your home may remain termite-free by using the proper materials having a pest control company.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.