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Article posted on September 01, 2021

Early Signs of Termites in your home or garden outside?

While it is true that termites can be hard to spot or locate in a property, thanks to their habit of entering buildings from under the ground, there are certain signs that all home owners can look for that may indicate there is a termite colony nearby.   Termites love the warm, moist climate in Queensland, and are attracted to the very material our homes are mostly made up from – timber and wooden structures.

All pests can be a nuisance, but termites should strike fear into any property owner because of their ability to infiltrate a building and quickly eat away at these structures, generally unnoticed and making their nests in hard to access areas.  They can cause immeasurable damage in just a short space of time in the right conditions, costing thousands of dollars in repair bills.

In some cases, if the damage is bad enough, the entire structure may need to be removed entirely.  Having a professional pest inspection conducted on an annual basis can be a fantastic way to ensure your property isn’t plagued by these cunning and destructive pests.  However you can also be vigilant and keep an eye out for any signs of termite activity in and around your home.  Let’s look at five of the most common signs you may have a termite issue on your property.


winged termite swarmers image

You may not know what a ‘winged swarmer’ is, but you’ve probably seen evidence of them without even realising it.  Winged termite swarmers are those flying insects you might have seen late in the afternoon or in the early evening, congregating around any light sources in their hundreds.  They may look similar to flying ants, however flying termites have clear front and back wings of the same length, and will not have the elbowed antennae and pinched waists of ants.

These swarms tend to occur more frequently once the weather warms up, with the sexually mature female and male termites leaving their nests and joining up together in the air in a mating ritual.  They will procreate in mid-air, fall back down to the ground and shed their wings, then the impregnated female will seek out an appropriate location to start a new termite colony.  This is bad news for property owners, as they will likely find a spot such as a wooden structure, trees or tree stumps that’s nearby.

Like moths, winged swarmers are attracted to light, and often property owners will find them crawling into downlights or skylights to enter a property, only to leave a pile of gold wings behind on the floor.  Any time you see those wings, you’ll know there is a potential termite colony being established nearby.


If you’ve noticed that there is any kind of bubbling effect on your timber window frames or skirting boards, or if the wood seems softer than usual when you press on it, you may have a termite problem.  Termites will devour any type of cellulose material – including wallpaper, timber and paper products – often leaving a shell of the outer structure but completely hollowing out the interior.  This means that the structure can look intact but is actually completely ruined.

Looking for these type of signs when you’re buying a property is important, especially if you’re looking at older buildings – don’t just assume that any bubbling on a wall or skirting boards are a sign of old age.  If you’re really unsure, get a pre-purchase pest inspection to get a professional to check the property thoroughly.


termite mud trail damage image

Because termites are subterranean they will track mud with them wherever they go, leaving noticeable dirty trails or what’s known in the industry as ‘galleries’.  These galleries can often extend several metres up an external wall such as a side of a house, as the termites looks for a viable way into the building.  It can be a useful indicator that shows the likely location of the termites in your home.

Once they have made their way inside, they will proceed to make a nest, and devour anything cellulose-based such as paper or cardboard material, cotton and wood in the near vicinity.   They will then excrete the material as a wet mud.  Over time this can pile up, even to the point of actually seeping through the walls, ruining the plaster and becoming visible on the internal wall.   This can be disconcerting for property owners, especially as the muddy residue can not simply be wiped away – it will continue for as long as the termites are active in that particular area.

During a professional termite inspection, these pockets of termite excretions can be located using thermal imaging and moisture detectors.  The infrared camera will detect the moisture in the mud in the wall well before it starts to seep through the walls or through the plaster boards, while the thermal imaging camera detects both cold and hot spots for the mud mounds and termite activity.



Unusual clicking noises in your home can be disconcerting at the best of times, but it can be a shock to realise that the noise might be coming from termites within the walls.  If you have enough termites, you can actually hear them eating the wood and other material in your home, but you might also hear the soldier termites warning the colony of danger by banging their heads or shaking their bodies against the walls.  If you listen closely, this can often sound like someone clicking their fingers, or even the sound rice bubbles make when you pour milk on them.


A sure way to know that you have termites is if your blinds or curtain rods collapse suddenly because your window frames can’t support them as they have been eaten away.  As mentioned above, because termites can eat the majority of a structure away, while leaving the outside intact, you may not even realise you have an issue until the curtain or blind fixtures come away from the wall or collapses entirely.

Call in the termite professionals

pest ex termite professionals image

Checking your property every so often for these signs will help protect it, however having a professional termite inspection on at least an annual basis will be the best way to ensure your home remains free of these destructive pests.

Pest Ex has delivered high quality pest control and termite treatment services for more than a decade, and has well trained and certified friendly staff on call ready to conduct your next termite inspection.  No job is too big or small, and our inspections are the most thorough on the market.  We inspect all parts of your home, inside and out, including any basements areas, garages and other outdoor structures, your trees, soil, drains, the interior of the main building, as well as all roof structures.

If we do find termites, we can treat them on the spot with safe pest treatments that have passed all relevant Australian standards.  We can remove nests and ensure that the termites will not return.

Don’t delay – give Pest Ex a call today and talk to us about termite inspections.

An example of one of our termite inspections.

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Kent Bailey
11 months ago
Just had my home barrier treatment for termites by Pest Ex. In every way a brilliant job and fantastic friendly service unlike...read more anything else I have struck on the Gold Coast. This is a very professional company and every person involved was excellent in every way. Strongly recommend them to all who read this review because you won't do better.
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Christie McCabe
a year ago
On time. Efficient. Friendly. Informative. Well priced. Our experience with Pest-Ex was easy from the moment Reception answered our call. Our routine...read more pest inspection could be done the next day (a Saturday which is most convenient for full time workers). Karl arrived at 7am with a smile to complete the service and carried out the work efficiently informing us of the process where required. Thanks team.
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Chris Burt
2 years ago
Very professional and able to identify our pest problem on the spot. Was on time and great communication with admin girls via...read more phone. Very conscious of keeping our pet safe after the treatment which was a classy touch. Highly recommend!
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6 months ago
Great people and always helpful and providing a good service.
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Lorrie Cruickshanks
a year ago
Thank you to Garyn who first identified the issues, he was extremely thorough and prompt and then to John and Janine and...read more the team who treated and area and placed the baits. The process was fully explained and they were extremely courteous and very professional. Thank you to all the team. The office also kept us up to date with when their representatives would be visiting and this is very much appreciated. Great work.
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Donna Hamerton
a year ago
After reading reviews, I'm glad that I chose Pest-Ex. Maria in the office was more than understanding to accommodate me and times....read more I was able to get a booking the same day I made the enquiry. Garyn my technician was even able to come earlier. When he arrived he was happy to explain everything that was going to happen and how to work around my pets and children. Need pest control done - hire these guys.
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Phoebe Worth
2 years ago
Impressed with the service. The technician Steve was on time, friendly and thorough - you could tell he was not rushing the...read more job. Will be using Pest-Ex again. Thanks guys!
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Mickey Ketch
a year ago
This company actually investigates the problem instead of just spraying your place and leaving. Very HIGH knowledge and experience in what they...read more do. They took the time to investigate the cause, the source of the problem and elimnated it completely which included going through every cupboard, cracks hiding spots the lot. We had a cochroach problem in our apartment for 3 months and we had 4 different companies come out and NONE of them investigated they only sprayed. After we called PestEx, Mr. Phillips was very knowledgeable and experienced eliminating our problem entirely. We also use PestEx in our shop and both Mr Phillips and Marty are EXCELLENT in resolving and maintaining pest problems. HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEST EX. BEST I'VE SEEN IN QUEENSLAND.