termite nest

Knowing what termites sound like can be the difference between detecting an infestation early and letting it go unabated for years.

This is because termites are often hard to spot visually.

As such, one of the first signs termites are in your home is in the sounds coming from your walls.

In this blog, we will break down the different sounds that termites make.

termites

Termites in action

Rustling

Termites destroy wood by eating away at it using a powerful set of mandibles.

As termites eat away at the wood of you home, they make a rustling noise.

This is the result of an entire colony moving and chewing on the wood inside your walls.

The closer termites tunnel to the surface of your wood, the louder this sound will be.

termites in house

The results of years of termite infestation

Clicking

Termites make a clicking sound to communicate with the rest of the colony.

They do this by rapidly banging their heads against timber. Generally, they do this in response to danger, to warn the rest of the colony.

While they cannot hear audible sounds, termites respond to the vibrations that are made by the banging.

Termites are so sensitive to vibration that they have been known to eat faster when heavy metal music is played near them.

To us humans, this head banging can be heard by us as a distinctive clicking coming from inside of our walls or timber.

Buzzing

Many people are not aware of this, but there are termites who possess wings.

These termites emerge from colonies that are overcrowded.

They fly around in swarms and look for new colonies to start. The flying ants of today will become the kings and queens of future colonies.

They are most common in the spring and summer months, when temperatures, humidity and rainfall are at their peak.

Homeowners often report hearing these flying termites produce a buzzing noise as they fly close by.

You are most likely to see or hear them after rainfall.

flying termite

A flying termite.

Hollow sound from wood

Termites chew through the wooden structures in your home from the inside.

As such, this hollows them out.

If you knock on the wooden wall of your home and hear a hollow-sounding or papery tone, this is a tell-tale sign that you have termites.

Unfortunately, hollow sounding wood likely means the termites have done significant damage.

If you hear this sound, you should contact a pest technician as soon as possible.

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