Signs of Termite Damage


Feared by most homeowners in Australia, termites and timber pests destroy over 30,000 homes every year and cost thousands of dollars in repair bills. Early detection is key to saving your property and the best way to detect them is through regular termite inspection by licensed pest controllers.

In between inspections, you can do your own pest checks to avoid extensive damage. In this article, we cover the most common signs of termite infestation at your home.

Where do you find termites in Australia?  

Termites are found in most parts of Australia and can be found in homes and surrounding areas where there is a consistent source of moisture. South-eastern Queensland is particularly susceptible to termites; the warm and moist climate provides an ideal environment for termites to thrive, making it a hotspot for termite infestations. Additionally, the region is home to many older homes, which are more susceptible to termite damage due to the presence of older, more porous building materials which are easier for termites to penetrate.

What damage can termites cause?

Termites feed on wood and other cellulose-based materials in buildings, causing structural damage that can lead to costly repairs and even render the home unsafe to live in. In a matter of just three months, termites can destroy the wall and roofing timbers of an entire home. This type of damage surpasses the harm caused by fire, floods, storms, and tempests combined ever year. Homeowners should be aware that their insurance policies will not cover the remedial and repair costs of termite damage to structural and decorative timbers.

Learn more about why it’s important to get a building and pest inspection.

What are the signs of termite activity? 

Due to their behaviour, termites are very difficult to locate. However, some signs can indicate that termites may be present.

Damage timber surfaces

Termites feed on cellulose-based materials such as wood and can cause extensive damage to the structural timbers of your building. They often leave behind a honeycomb-like appearance in the damaged wood, causing it to weaken and potentially collapse. In addition to the visible damage, termites may also produce sawdust-like waste material, called frass, that can accumulate near infested areas. Regular inspections of your home can help you detect any signs of termite damage early on.

damaged timber

Mud track or tunnels

Observing mud tracks or tunnels is often one of the first signs of a termite infestation. Termites create these tubes made of mud or soil to protect themselves and transport themselves from their underground nests to their food sources, which are often within buildings. Homeowners can observe these tracks on the surface of walls, brickwork, slab edges, concrete posts, and other structures. The tracks resemble veins running up the sides of these areas and are a clear sign of termite activity. The mud tracks or tunnels provide the termites with a moist environment, which helps regulate their body temperature and humidity levels, and also serves as a barrier from predators and other elements.

Power Short Circuits

Power short circuits can be a warning sign of termite infestation in your home. Termites are known to consume not only wood and other cellulose-based materials but also electrical wiring insulation. As they feed on the electrical wiring, they can cause short circuits, flickering lights, and malfunctioning appliances and devices. If you suspect termites are causing electrical problems in your home, it is crucial to inspect your electrical system regularly and to seek the help of a professional pest control company.

Cracked or bubbling wall paint

Cracked or bubbling paint is a common sign of termite infestation in your home. Termites feed on the structural timbers of your home, causing the walls and ceiling to shift and become uneven, leading to cracks or bubbles in the paint. In addition to paint damage, termites can also weaken the wallboard and cause it to sag or bulge.

Termite signs in your garden

Several signs can indicate the presence of termites in your garden. One of the most common signs are mud tubes which can often be found on the exterior walls of buildings or on the base of trees. Another sign is the presence of discarded wings from swarming termites, which often appear near windows or doorways. You may also notice the presence of termite galleries, which are the areas of the garden where termites have tunnelled through the soil and are feeding on the roots of plants. If you see any of these signs in your garden, it is important to have a professional pest control company inspect your property to determine if termites are present and to take appropriate action to eliminate the infestation.

termites tracks

swarming termites

How to Limit Your Risk of Termite Infestation

To limit the risk of termite infestation, maintain proper moisture levels in and around your home by fixing leaks and ensuring proper ventilation to prevent damp environments. Remove any wood-to-soil contact, which is a common entry point for termites, by raising wood piles, decks, and stoops above the soil. Store firewood and lumber away from the foundation of your home to avoid providing termites with a direct route to your home. Regular pest inspections by a professional can also help detect and prevent termite infestations.

Get a professional termite inspection 

Prevent termite damage by having a regular termite inspection from ICertified.

Our team of licensed and experienced pest inspectors, equipped with advanced thermal imaging technology, will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your property and detect any signs of termite activity. Early detection is key to mitigating the potential damages caused by termites.

iCertified has licensed building and pest inspectors that operate throughout South East Queensland, including in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast.

Call us on 1300 899 078 or submit an online enquiry to schedule a comprehensive and reliable inspection.