When drywood termites swarm, they leave their nests through exit holes in the wood. By correctly identifying these holes as exit holes from termites – not other wood-destroying insects – your pest professional can locate termite colonies and provide effective treatment.
What Do Termite Holes Look Like?
Picture of exit holes in a piece of foam insulation.
Termite exit holes are round holes that are 1/8 of an inch or smaller. The holes are sealed by nymph termites after the swarming termites (alates) have left the nest. Nymphs use a brown, cement-like material made out of feces to plug termite holes. Unless you locate the source of the colony during or soon after the swarm takes place, you likely will not see these holes uncovered.
Swarming subterranean termites do not leave exit holes in wood, as they build their nests underground in the soil. Instead, they exit their nests via mud tubes (tunnels) that direct them to the surface.
Since other wood-destroying insects and pests can create exit holes in wood, it is important to contact a termite professional who can use the wood age and type, and shape and size of the exit holes, to correctly determine if termites are the culprit. Other insects that can attack wood and leave entry and exit holes include beetles, bees and wasps.