How to spot termites

Here are a few ways to spot whether you have termites.

Termites are highly-destructive pests, causing major structural damage to domestic and commercial buildings in Queensland. They can inflict extensive — and expensive — damage to timber structures, floors and walls if undetected. Queensland is particularly vulnerable to termites in urban areas, due to the warm climate and large numbers of native gum trees.

What to look for

  • Papery or hollow-sounding timber

    When you tap on an area that has termite damage, it will sound hollow or papery due to parts (or all) of the timber having been eaten away. Termites eat the inside of the timber and leave an outer veneer of timber or paint.
  • Fingers press through a skirting board or door jam

    This is where termites commonly move through the home’s structure and is often the first-place homeowners notice the presence of termites.
  • Doors or windows become tighter to close

    The excrement or ‘mud’ created by termites as they feed forms a protective environment that traps heat and moisture. This causes timber to swell, making it harder to open windows or close doors.
  • Termite mud tubes

    Termites construct ‘mud’ tunnels in which to travel to or protect their food sources. These tunnels can sometimes be seen in brick foundations or in architraves. You might also spot mud trails outside your home, running along timber that is connected to your home, such as wood piles or tree branches.
  • Cracks in cornices or door jams

    As termites eat their way through timber sections, they can cause cracks due to the loss of integrity of the timber structure.
  • Cracked or bubbling paint on timber

    This can be an indication that termites have eaten the timber beneath the paint and moved on to other structures.