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5 clues your home may have been invaded by termites

(AP Photo/Thomas Chouvenc, University of Florida/IFAS)

Last week, we shared steps to help control your crickets. This week, we want to help you keep an eye out for termites.

It might be difficult to find termites in the act of eating away at your house, but some other signs should warn you that they may be hiding somewhere and munching away inside your walls.

According to Curtis Whalen, technical director of Rosie-Certified Blue Sky Pest Control in Phoenix, those signs include:

Living in Arizona

Whenever someone does a list of American cities with the most termites, Arizona always seems to be on it. We have subterranean termites here. They’re known as a moderately aggressive species.

Thin mud tubes running up the wall of your house

This is the most obvious warning and one that many of us often find: Thin mud tubes that look like pieces of straw running up your walls between the soil and the place where the stucco or siding begins. These exit tubes serve as shelters and tunnels for termites.

Besides being on your walls or foundations, tubes can also be found around utility and service boxes of your house. Tubes can sometimes be built 50 feet long to reach wood.

Damage to your floors

Once termites get up and into your house, a sure sign they are there is damage to floors or floor beams. Floors are susceptible because they are close to the termites’ underground shelters.

Check flooring for raised or split areas that may indicate wood has been damaged. When you rap on baseboards, they may sound hollow. Check baseboards and flooring for more maze-like tunnels.

You may also find small dots of dried mud on the dry walls inside your home.

Drop tubes coming down from your ceilings

Sometimes termites build tubes that drop through the holes they make while feeding on your ceilings. Even a hole in the ceiling can be a sign. But termites sometimes fall through these holes themselves.

Other signs around moist or humid areas

Termites are attracted to bathrooms because of that moisture and humidity. They may also invade garage areas that are close to doors that may leak during heavy rain.

Any of these signs that you find mean that you should quickly call an exterminator to check for damage and to take action against colonies of termites.

For the most up-to-date information on pest control (as well as hundreds of other topics), visit our DIY Q&A section at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at, Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

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