Tips to Detect Termites in Your Home

Discover how to detect termites in your home. Our advice will also help you to easily prevent and eliminate them too.
Tips to Detect Termites in Your Home

Last update: 06 May, 2023

If you think that you may have termites in your home and you want to detect where they are, you don’t have to be a high-level researcher! Just follow our tips and advice and get ready to say goodbye to these annoying pests.

These insects are attracted to any wooden materials in your home. They feed on wood, damage your furniture, weaken structures, and leave disaster in their wake. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we have them, inadvertently allowing the problem to escalate.

So that you don’t encounter any significant problems, keep reading to discover our tips and advice and detect them in time. Here we go!

What are termites?

Termites are tiny insects that feed on wood. They look similar to ants, but they’re whitish in appearance and have a different anatomy. Some even have wings.

Incredibly, more than two million termites can live in a single mound. These fulfill the natural function of decomposing wood in all its presentations: firm wood, chipboard, paper, and cardboard among others.

So far, experts have reviewed more than 2,000 different species. Taking into account their environment and the climate in which they live, termites thrive in humid areas and tropical climates.

How to detect termites at home

To detect termites you have to pay attention to small details.
To detect termites in your home you have to pay attention to small details.

One of their most distinctive characteristics is that they’re silent, unlike woodworm, another insect that also eats wood. So termites aren’t always easy to spot. 

Either way, we’re going to tell you how to detect them and eradicate them before they end up destroying your wood. It’s so important to learn how to spot the slightest signs that indicate termites are in your home.

Here’s a checklist that you can follow:

  • Mud tubes or tunnels: these are built by termites and allow them to take over spaces without exposing themselves to light. They often have lines or strings on the outside. These are made up of saliva, mud, and excrement and stick to the walls of the tubes. You’ll know it’s a mud tube because you’ll see the termites when you break it open.
  • Wooden window frames swell: moisture from these pests accumulates in the wood, causing the frames to swell and preventing them from opening or closing properly.
  • Hollow wood: termites eat wood from the inside out, causing holes and flimsy, hollow wood.
  • Termites with wings: these can often be confused with flying ants. Flying termites typically appear between the breeding season, April and May.
  • Noises in the walls: although they’re usually quiet, if you listen carefully you can occasionally hear them chewing.

How to eliminate these pests

After detecting termites in your home, it goes without saying that you need to eliminate them. If you don’t have a lot of time or you’re in any doubt, you should call a pest control expert. However, home remedies are very effective and we’ve listed these below:

  • Boric acid: you can use this in different ways. The most effective is by injecting it directly into the wood with a syringe. You can also make baits by adding sugar and milk. Of course, if you have children or pets, you must be careful because it’s toxic.
  • Rubbing alcohol: also injected into the wood, do this between any holes or mud tubes that you’ve identified.
  • Lemon and vinegar: this mixture is useful for repelling termites, although it’s not entirely effective for eliminating them.
  • Aloe vera: take a piece of aloe vera and crush the stem to release the liquid. You can also blend it and strain it too. Place the end result in a spray bottle and spray your wooden furniture and the surrounding area.
  • Essential oils: these work like aloe vera, killing termites and driving them away. The oils you should use are rosemary, eucalyptus, and orange.
With boric acid you can build a bait to eliminate termites and, incidentally, ants and cockroaches that may live in your house.
Build a bait with boric acid to eliminate termites and, incidentally, ants and cockroaches.

How to prevent termites

Once you learn how to detect these pests you’ll have to take measures to eradicate and prevent them. If you have a large infestation, there’s a risk that they may return. 

As we mentioned, termites love moisture and humidity, so it’s always better to avoid this environment. Ideally, you should eradicate humidity in your home and you can do this by growing plants that absorb humidity, regularly ventilating your home, or using a dehumidifier.

Equally, you should get rid of any stacked firewood or bundles of newspapers, as these will attract insects, even if you store them outdoors.