It is estimated that termites cause $5 billion in damage annually nationwide, and unfortunately, termites are found throughout California, with subterranean termites being especially common. So it is in a homeowner’s best interest to quickly identify the presence of termites so their home can be treated before termites do extensive damage that can be very expensive to repair.

Here are some of the signs that your house has a subterranean termite infestation that you need to look out for:

Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites live and reproduce underground where they have access to the moisture they need to survive. The termites then build mud tubes that connect their nests to their source of food (wood). A house that is infested with termites will often have mud tubes along the foundation of the home or on exterior walls.

It is in a homeowner's best interest to regularly inspect the perimeter of their home for evidence of mud tubes. In most cases, termite mud tubes are about as wide as a pencil and brown in color, as they are constructed using a combination of fecal matter and mud particles.

You should note that the presence of mud tubes indicates termite activity in the home, but the absence of mud tubes does not guarantee that a home does not have a termite infestation. It is possible for termites to access a home through small cracks and holes in the foundation without having to build mud tubes.


When adult male and female subterranean termites reach reproductive maturity, they will move on to form a new colony. When this happens, it is possible to see a swarm of flying termites.

If you see a swarm of termites outdoors near a tree stump or other source of wood, it can indicate that there is termite activity on your property, but your house is not necessarily infested. However, if you see a swarm of termites inside your home, it is a pretty definitive sign of a termite infestation. You should contact a pest control company if you spot an outdoor swarm.

In most cases, termites swarm during the spring months. Swarming termites are often confused with flying ants, so it’s important to look carefully. Unlike flying ants, termites have wide bodies, straight antennae, and front and back wings that are equal in size.

Piles Of Shed Wings

While subterranean termites tend to swarm in the spring months, you may not see the swarm. But the point of swarming is to begin a new colony, and after the colony is established, the termites will shed their wings. If a homeowner notices piles of shed wings in their home or around their property, it is typically a red flag that termites are present.

Soft Or Hollow Wood

It is not uncommon for homeowners to not realize that their home is infested with termites because the insects are often behind walls or under the foundation of a home. But over time evidence of damaged wood will make itself known.

If a home has a wood subfloor, the floor may begin to droop or sag in areas that are damaged. Wood around doors, window sills, and in walls will become weak when termites damage them.
One way to recognize the wood damage caused by termites is by tapping the wood lightly with the end of a screwdriver. When the wood has been damaged, it will usually create a hollow sound when it is tapped or probed.

If a homeowner suspects that a termite infestation has caused significant damage to wood structures in their home, it is important to have a pest control company that specializes in treating termites do a full inspection.

If you suspect that you may have a termite infestation in your home, contact 49er Pest Control today. Our company has over 30 years of experience providing exceptional pest control.