What Do Termite Holes Look Like? Identifying Termite Holes

Seeing holes in a wooden structure can be very alarming, especially when you are unsure what the cause is. Several insects can create holes in wooden materials. One way you can identify the presence of termite attack, whether in your home or on wood around your property is the presence of holes. In this guide we’ll be looking at figuring out what do termite holes look like and how to identify and remove them!

what do termite holes look like

Similar to termites droppings, or termite eggs, termite holes are obvious signs of an active termite infestation! Most times, it can be difficult to tell if the holes you see in wood are the result of termite activity or those of another insect. Sometimes, you may need a professional to assess the hole. From what we know, however, termites leave a unique kind of hole known as an exit hole or kick-out hole. 

You must know what a termite hole looks like to tell it apart from other holes. There are certain signs to look for in order to confirm that the hole comes from termite actions. It’s important to do it as fast as possible because termites can cause extensive damage to the home if not treated early. Usually, the exit holes are seen as tiny holes on the piece of wood.

What Do Termite Holes Look Like?

Termite holes are usually round and not larger than ⅛ of an inch. After the termites have migrated, the nymphs in the nest cover the holes using a paste. The paste is made from termite frass. Apart from using frass, the hole can be covered with chewed wood. One thing you should know is that termite holes are rarely left uncovered. This is because once the swarmers leave, the nymphs get to work immediately.

When Are Termite Holes Made?

Exit holes occur when the termites leave their nest to a new nest. That is to say, the holes are made before the mating period and adult termites it to exit the colony. They mostly leave during springtime to reproduce and form new colonies. Termite holes can be one of the early warning signs of termites, so you should constantly be looking out for them!

What Type of Termites Bore Holes?

First, you should know that there are different types of insects and not all of them leave holes. The kind of termites that leave exit holes are the drywood termites. These species do not need direct contact with the soil and usually infest any wood above the ground. They can chew wood material in their gut and squeeze out water from it. The reason why the hole is also called a kick-out hole is that tiny pieces of wood that look like mustard seeds are removed from it. So, holes in a wooden material are a sign of drywood termite infestation. 

Termite Holes In Wood:

Termite holes in wood are relatively easy to identify depending on the location of the wood. Termite holes in wood look like the wood has been shot by a BB gun. There can be anywhere from five to hundreds of holes that are about 1/8th of an inch wide.

Termite Exit Holes:

Termite exit holes are similar in size and shape to entry holes, they are about 1/8 of an inch in diameter or slightly smaller. But the difference with termite exit holes is that they are then sealed shut after the swarming termites have left the nest. The termite nymphs seal the exit hole using feces packed into a cement like material.

Termite Holes In Dirt and In The Ground:

You might be wondering, do termites make holes in the ground? And the answer is Yes! Although termites are often referred to as making nests in and around your home, they will often make holes in the ground for their colony. Along with this, you should be on the look out for termites in tree stumps!

termite holes in dirt

Termite holes in dirt can be a bit more difficult to identify since the soil is constantly moving slightly and can be covered quite easily. Termite holes in dirt or soil are generally around 1/8th of an inch in width and generally the soil is eaten so there aren’t piles surrounding the holes which is common with other insects.

Termite holes in the ground can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between other insect holes such as ants. The biggest differentiation to termite holes in your yard is that termite holes still have a more tubular shape compared to other insects.

Final Thoughts On What Do Termite Holes Look Like:

Dealing with termites can be frustrating, but it’s better to get rid of them than allow them to destroy your home. Once you detect a termite hole, it’s time to use pest control methods to ensure that you solve the infestation. Get professional help if you are at loss as to what to do by calling a pest control team to help you. I hope you’ve enjoyed our guide on what do termite holes look like, and that it was helpful identifying termite holes around your home!

Resources:

https://www.esf.edu/efb/turner/termitePages/termiteStruct.html

About The Author:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. His main goal is to provide accurate and helpful DIY tips to keep your home pest-free and how to identify different types of household pests!