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Termites are known for the damage they do to wood. So, you might assume that if your wood looks okay, you don't have termites. Sadly, termites tend to hollow wood out beginning on the inside, so wood damage is not always apparent until the termites have caused serious damage. It's better to be on the lookout for other signs that appear earlier on so you can contact a termite control expert as soon as possible.
Beyond wood damage, here are four other signs of termites in your home:
Mud trails on wood and other structures.
Subterranean termites, one of the most popular varieties, create tubes of mud leading from their below-ground nests to the wood on which they are feeding. These tubes look like webs of moist mud trails on the surface of the wood. You may also notice them on concrete or other materials if the termites have to move over these materials to get to the wood.
Frass, or feces.
Drywood termites, especially, may generate piles of black feces, known as frass. The frass looks like tiny, black pebbles about the size of the decorative nonpareils you might see on cupcakes or other desserts. You might see the frass on the ground near the wooden structures of your home or along the base of your home's foundation.
Piles of wings.
Termites go through a stage of life in which they have wings. Then, they shed these wings, often all at once, resulting in piles of wings being left around the areas where they feed and nest. The wings may look like flat, fluffy, whitish flakes about the size of a lentil. Some may have a tan or brownish appearance, depending on the exact species of termite you are dealing with.
You won't always see adult termites when you have an infestation, but many homeowners do see termites -- and falsely assume they are ants or other insects. Termites have a straight waist, whereas ants have pinched waists. Also, if the antennae are straight, you are dealing with a termite rather than an ant. If you happen to see an insect during its winged stage, look closely at the wings. If they extend past the length of the body, it's a termite. If the wings are shorter than the body, it's an ant.
If you think you may have termites in your home, contact a pest control company sooner rather than later -- otherwise you may be left dealing with serious wood damage.