Wood-destroying insects, termites included, are infamous for their ability to tunnel through wood. Their activity often results in tiny, round holes found in wood. So how do you know whether you’re dealing with beetle activity, or something worse? Termite exit holes, also known as kick-out holes, have several unique characteristics that set them apart from holes created by other insects. They are created when drywood termites swarm, often in the spring or summer. While it can be difficult without the expert eye of a termite exterminator, there are several things to know about finding and identifying termite exit holes.
Do All Termites Create Exit Holes in Wood?
Termites are all known to swarm to form new colonies, but only one common termite is responsible for creating holes in wood: drywood termites. While subterranean termites swarm just as drywood termites do, they do not leave exit holes in the wood. This is because subterranean termites build nests underground and travel through mud tubes. These mud tubes also serve the purpose of being their exit from the nest. For this reason, seeing termite exit holes indicates the active or previous presence of drywood termites in your property. Drywood termites are often found in wood above ground, such as attics, garages, and trees.
What Does a Termite Exit Hole Look Like?
Termite exit holes will be seen in any source of dry wood, often above ground or away from the foundation of your home. A few ways to identify termite exit holes are as follows.
- Termite exit holes are round and only about ⅛ of an inch (or smaller!).
- After swarmers (called alates) leave the nest, the termite nymphs within the nest will use a paste made out of frass to plug the holes.
- The holes are plugged quickly, making it rare to see uncovered holes in the wood.
- Wood that has been kicked out looks like tiny mustard seeds and can appear in a pile.
Can Beetles and Wasps Leave Holes in Wood?
Termites are not the only insect to leave behind holes in wood. Holes made by other wood-destroying insects can often be confused with those made by termites and vice versa. Some of these insects include carpenter bees, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, bark beetles, and more. Each of these exhibits unique behaviors and have different wood preferences, making it difficult to know which wood-boring insect you’re dealing with. This is why it’s always important to contact your local pest control experts for help identifying termite holes in or near your property.
Termite Exit Holes in Eastern & Central Virginia
Finding and identifying termite exit holes can be difficult without the trained eye of a professional. As soon as you suspect termite activity in or near your property, it’s time to call the termite exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control! Our experts will help to quickly identify any termite kick-out holes you may have.