Know the Warning Signs of a Termite Infestation Before It’s Too late

The National Pest Management Association is working to educate homeowners about the dangers posed by termites

FAIRFAX, VA (March 5, 2020) – Did you know termite colonies can chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper, undetected? This sneaky behavior has earned them the nickname, “silent destroyers,” as homeowners often don’t know there’s a problem until it’s too late. With online conversations and engagement around the topic of termites increasing 48% just last spring alone,* the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is ensuring homeowners are aware of the dangers posed by termites during Termite Awareness Week, March 8-14, 2020.

“Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. annually, which is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs at NPMA. “Winter weather can leave homes vulnerable to damage and moisture buildup. Termites are experts at finding, and capitalizing, on these faults. Once inside, termites are a major threat, as their constant chewing can compromise the structural integrity of a home from the inside out.”

To help consumers protect their homes, NPMA is sharing the following signs of a termite infestation:

  1. SWARMERS:  Winged termites that invade homes in the springtime. Found in buildings that sustained damage from winter weather, and the rest of the colony follows them.
  2. DISCARDED WINGS: Found near windowsills and doors and are often the first and only outwardly visible sign of a termite problem.
  3. WOOD DAMAGE: Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, so wood that sounds hollow when tapped often signifies a termite infestation.
  4. FRASS: Drywood termites produce these wood-colored droppings, usually in a small pile that looks like pellets, as they eat through wood.
  5. MUD TUBES: Termites build mud tubes near the foundation of a building to provide moisture while they travel between their colony and a food source.

For a firsthand look at what termites are capable of, NPMA rolled out two consumer awareness campaigns to demonstrate just how destructive termites are. The Tiny Termite House project showed what happens when more than half a million voracious termites are introduced to a built-to-scale dream home. And the “Will They Eat It?” video series captured what 100,000 hungry termites can do to everyday household items in six, action-packed videos.

If a termite infestation is suspected, it’s imperative to contact a licensed pest control professional to determine the extent of the damage and recommend a treatment plan.

*Online engagement findings are a result of research conducted by Advanced Symbolics Inc.


About the National Pest Management Association
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit or follow @PestWorld on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube.