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3 Unusual Sounds of a Termite Infestation (Video Included)

Unusual sounds of a termite infestation

Termites are social insects that feed on cellulose-based materials. These materials primarily include wood, paper and cardboard. Termites are capable of causing extensive damage to building structures.

There are several types of termites in Singapore. The most common termite infestation that affects buildings and properties include subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites.

Termites do not make loud sounds that are easily audible to humans. In fact, they are typically silent pests. However, they do produce some subtle noises and vibrations within their colonies. This happens when they feed and when they sense danger. These sounds can be a telltale sign of an infestation.

In this article, Bingo Pest shares the common sounds you can hear when experiencing a termite infestation.

Why Do Termites Make Noises?

There are several reasons associated with the sounds termites make. The noises they make in specific situations serve various purposes. They include:

  1. Communication: As termites are blind, they communicate through vibrations within the colony. Soldier termites may create tapping or head-banging sounds to send signals within the colony.

  2. Nesting and feeding: When termites are actively feeding or tunnelling within wood, they may produce sounds as a result of their chewing and grooming activities.

  3. Defence mechanism: Termites may produce sounds when disturbed or threatened. The sounds may be a response to perceived danger. It serves as a warning signal to other termites in the colony.

What Sounds Do Termites Make?

Hollow Sound in Wood

Termites can make wood sound hollow. When termites infest and feed on wood, they typically consume the cellulose within the wood. They leave behind a thin veneer or layer of wood on the surface. This can result in the wood becoming hollow or having a papery or brittle texture.

When you tap or knock on termite-infested wood, it produces a hollow or thin-sounding noise. This is because the insects have consumed the inner structural part of the wood. Hollow wood resulting from a termite infestation can be dangerous.

Over time, this can weaken the wood, leading to unstable structures in buildings. If left untreated, extensive termite damage can compromise the safety and stability of a building.

Faint Paper Rustling Sound

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not require moisture and spend most of their time tunnelling inside the wood. Drywood termites infest and feed on dry wood. They create chambers and tunnels as they excavate the wood, creating a papery rustling sound. Any faint sounds they produce while chewing or tunnelling are typically not loud enough to be heard by people.

Hence, identifying physical signs may be a more reliable indicator of a drywood termite infestation. This includes the presence of drywood termite droppings or frass.

Rattling sound

Termites are generally quiet insects. They do not produce sounds that are easily heard by humans. They primarily communicate through vibrations and chemical signals. For instance, they use pheromones to coordinate their activities within a colony.

However, when termites produce faint clicking, rattling or rustling sounds when disturbed or threatened. These sounds are a result of them hitting their heads against walls of the termite tunnels. Termites use the vibrations created by these actions to warn their colonies of potential danger and threats.

The sounds produced by termites are typically very subtle. They may not be noticeable to the human ear unless you are in close proximity to a termite infestation and there is little background noise. In practice, visual signs of termite activity are more reliable indicators of an infestation. These include termite signs such as mud tubes, damaged wood, or discarded wings.

Are Termite Sounds Constant?

Unlike nocturnal pests that hunt for food mainly in the night, termites work and eat all the time and they never rest. Therefore, the sounds that termites make can happen continuously, regardless of the time of the day. However, as the noises made by termites are usually faint and extremely subtle, they may only be detected during the night or when the area is fairly quiet. Termite noise is then more distinct and can be picked up by fine ears.

What to Do When You Hear Termites?

What to do when you hear termites

If you hear unusual sounds coming from your walls or wood structures, and suspect a termite infestation, it is essential to investigate the issue and take appropriate action. Here's what to do when you hear termites or suspect their presence:

  1. Confirm the sound: Before jumping to conclusions, make sure that the sounds you hear are indeed termites. Termites are generally very quiet. Other pests or even the natural expansion and contraction of wood can sometimes produce similar sounds. Try to locate the source of the noise and observe any other signs of termite activity.

  2. Look for visual signs: Inspect the area for visual signs of termite infestation. Examples include mud tubes, damaged wood, droppings or discarded wings. These are more reliable indicators of a termite infestation.

  3. Avoid disturbing the termites: Termites may migrate to a new location when disturbed. Prevent excessive knockings. Avoid disturbing the mud trails as it may become more challenging to locate and address the infestation.

  4. Keep records: Take photographs and keep track of the evidence. They may be helpful when discussing the issue with a professional.

  5. Call a professional pest control: If you are concerned about a potential termite infestation on your property, it's best to contact a professional pest control specialist or a licensed termite inspector. They have the experience and tools to accurately assess the situation. In addition, they provide appropriate termite control treatment options to prevent the infestation from escalating. Afterall, seeking professional assistance to manage a termite infestation is a worthwhile investment. It aids in maintaining the value and structural integrity of your home or building.

Eliminate a Termite Infestation

Bingo Pest has helped many clients resolve their termite issues and prevent further termite damage on their property. We possess the knowledge, expertise and tools required to perform a thorough termite inspection and treatment.

Our highly-trained pest control specialists carefully understands your termite control needs. They have the ability to create a customised treatment plan that addresses the specific needs of your propertyThese can include the following:

  • Choosing the right termite treatment method

  • Determining treatment areas

  • Developing an affordable maintenance plan for long-term termite prevention

Call us at 6517 9989 or send us a message via WhatsApp to 8810 3189 to discuss your termite control requirements today.


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