Termites – The Damage They Can Cause

Termites might seem to be just another annoying bug. In Alabama you probably see them most in rural area that have large piles of wood lying around. You may think that if you live in cities like Huntsville, Madison, or Athens you would not have to worry about termites. But, you would be wrong.

These amazingly destructive little creatures can cause a lot of damage, so it is important to catch them early. In fact, it is estimated that termites cause damage of approximately $5 billion every year. These insects are so resourceful that they don’t just eat wood as popular belief would have it. Instead, they can eat wood as popular belief would have it. Instead, they can eat insulation, plaster, and paper–so, pretty much any building material in your house.

Today we examine some of the signs of termite and the damage those signs indicate, since the sooner you can get rid off these annoying pests the better for your house, yard, and peace of mind.

  1. Mud Specs on the Wall

    A good sign to look for if you think you have termites would be small pin holes in sheetrock that are filled back in with mud. This will appear like mud specs on the wall.

  2. High Moisture Content

    If you use a moisture meter, available at your local home supply store, you can detect the parts of the wall with a higher moisture content. This would be a sign of a termite infestation and would indicate to you a good spot to investigate further.

  3. Thermal Imaging

    Similar to using a meter to register the moisture content, you can use thermal imaging. Where there are termite tubes there will often be a thermal differential from the rest of the wall or the rest of the studs in the wall. This would be an indication of the infestation and where you should investigate further.

  4. Mud Tubes

    These are earthen/mud tubes that run along the outside of the wood or wall. They can be found near your home’s foundation, support piers, sill plates, or floor joists. These tubes protect the termites as they move from their home underground to their forage site inside your house.

  5. Swarmers

    In the spring a bunch of winged insects that look like ants may show up in your house. If they have straight antennae and equal sized wings they are likely termites not flying ants–the two insects look remarkably similar.

    Swarmers are termites that have broken apart from their colony and left to find a new one. They are easily vacuumed but indicate that you likely have a termite problem somewhere on your property.


Termites can be scary, since they can cause enormous damage to your property. It is always best to nip this problem in the bud before it gets out of control. Your best bet for getting rid of these insects before they destroy your house is to call a professional termite removal service.

Those of you in Northern Alabama should check out Scout Pest Control for their termite removal needs. These consummate professionals have a termite plan for both residential and commercial properties.

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