What Do Termite Holes in the Ground Look Like?

Many people don’t even realize they have a termite problem until it’s too late. Until they realized that their house is already half-eaten by these tiny pests.

The size of the hole is the simplest way to determine whether it was made by termites.

Termite holes are usually round and tiny. It’s likely not made by termites if the hole is any larger than the usual. They’re generally located in close proximity to one another and can be observed in straight lines or formations.

termite holes

If you’re seeing small holes in the ground, it’s important to determine if they are made by termites. Many people see these holes and assume that they are caused by termites, but this isn’t always the case.

Termite infestation is a serious problem, and if not dealt with, it can result in severe structural damage. Because termites can get into a home in a variety of ways, it’s critical to be able to distinguish if those holes are true evidence of a termite infestation.

Termites sometimes create tunnel systems that lead up to the entrance of a hole. Look for mud tunnels leading towards the opening if you notice any tunnels heading in your direction.

If you detect a tiny hole with a mud tunnel leading up to it, termites are likely the cause.

What Types of Termites Make Holes in the Ground

The two types of termites that you would commonly find in your yard and digging holes in the ground are subterranean and damp wood termites.

Subterranean termites live in colonies underground and build mud tunnels to travel to their food source, which is typically wood.

Damp-wood termites are attracted to moist or rotting wood and don’t generally build tunnels. Seeing these termites in your yard would mean that they might have already made holes in the ground all the way to your home.

Subterranean Termites

From the name itself, the subterranean termites construct their colonies beneath the earth’s surface. When they have exhausted the food sources in the ground, they will gradually approach your home from underground.

subterrenean termites

Plants and grasses have cellulose in them, and both subterranean and dampwood termites can harm them because of the holes they make in the ground.

Dampwood Termites

The dampwood termites are only interested in rotting wood. In the ground, they will build nests and lay eggs in decaying wooden pieces. Wood is a natural substance that contains cellulose, moisture, and starch. These are the food sources of dampwood termites.

They might consume the roots and grass of plants and grass in order to satisfy their appetite for cellulose.

What Do Termite Holes in the Ground Look Like?

The easiest way to identify a termite hole is by the size of the opening. Termite holes are generally very small, only about the width of a pencil lead, and round. If the hole is any larger than that, it’s likely not made by termites.

They are often close together and can be found in straight lines or patterns. Another way to tell if those holes are made by termites is to look for mud tunnels leading up to the opening.

If you see a small hole with a mud tunnel leading up to it, this is a good indication that you have termites.

Termite holes can cause a lot of damage to your home if they are left untreated, so it’s important to be able to identify whether those holes are actually signs of a termite infestation.

If you see small holes in the ground, be sure to check for mud tunnels or other signs of termites before assuming that they are just harmless bugs.

Read More: What Do Baby Termites Look Like?

Do Termites Dig Holes in the Ground

If you see a tower-like structure made of soil, it is most likely a termite mound. It is constructed by subterranean termites as a way to regulate the temperature and humidity in their underground nests.

The soil acts as an insulator to keep the nest cool during hot weather and dry during periods of heavy rains.

Termite mounds can be found in open areas such as pastures, parks, and lawns. They are often mistaken for ant hills because of their similar appearance.

At its base, a termite mound has several openings that serve as the entrance and exit to the underground nest.

Underneath the mound, there is a network of tunnels and chambers where the termites live. When termites forage, they tunnel through the soil to reach their food source.

They must ensure that there is a connection to the soil that would enable them to return to the ground. This is accomplished by the mud tubes that act as a pathway between the soil and their food.

How Termite Holes in the Ground Differ from Termite Holes in Walls

Subterranean termites do not make holes in the walls like they do in the ground. The ones drilling holes in your walls are actually a different species of termites.

When drywood termites swarm, they leave their nests through exit holes in the wood.

They would then seal these holes after the swarming termites or reproductives have left the nest.

They would use a material that is similar to cement and brown in color, made out of soil, feces, and parts of wood to make sure that these termite holes are covered.

termite holes on a tree trunk

Termite holes in walls would be small round holes that are commonly 1/8 of an inch or even smaller. These insects make sure that the holes that they have created are covered to keep their holes well hidden.

On the other hand, termite holes in the ground would have a mud tunnel that the termites use for going to and from their underground nest and food source.

Final Thoughts

Termite holes in the ground are small, round, and smooth. They are usually about the size of a dime or a penny, and they are often clustered together in groups.

The holes are typically made by termites that are tunneling underground. These holes are usually found in areas where there is a lot of moisture, such as near ponds or in heavily wooded areas.

Some termites build large mounds above ground, while others build intricate tunnel systems underground.

If you suspect that you have termites in your yard, it is important to have the area inspected by a pest control professional.

Termites can cause serious damage to homes and other structures, and they can be difficult to control once they become established.

By identifying the problem early, you can avoid costly repairs and save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.