What Do Termites Smell Like?

Some pests have smells that are often associated with them. Bedbugs have a musty smell while roaches’ smell gives off a more bitter, oily scent.

With termites, there is a subtle smell produced by these little creatures that could make their presence known.

Termites would sometimes give off a smell that is similar to mildew and mold, rotting wood, or moldy leaves.

If you are very much sure that you do not have any problem with mildew or mold in your home but it still smells like it, that could be a sign that you might have a termite infestation.

termites feasting on a piece of wood

The presence of the smell of termites might be an indication of a serious problem. If you smell something musty or like mold, it is best to call a professional to have your home inspected for termites.

Do Termites Give off a Scent

Termites actually give off a scent. They rely on their pheromones to communicate with one another. There are different types of termites and each type would produce a unique scent.

For example, there is the winged reproductive termite that gives off a musty smell while the soldier termites have a more bitter odor.

Termites secrete a pheromone called isopentyl acetate, which is used to communicate with other members of their colony.

When they sense danger, they release more of this scent to warn their nestmates.

They would also produce this scent when they are looking for a mate.

Normally, humans would not able to smell this but the presence of the odor in your home probably means that you have a significant termite infestation.

What Do They Smell Like

There are different scents that termites produce but these can let you know that they are definitely around.

Termites can cause a lot of damage to your property and the sooner you get rid of them, the better.

Mildew or Mold

These pests often produce a musty smell that is similar to mildew or mold. If you notice this smell, it’s time to check your home for termites.

Your home might be trying to tell you something if it smells like mildew or mold but there is no visible sign of it. Take note of this because it could be an indication that you have a termite problem.

Rotten Wood

rotten wood corner of a house

Another telltale sign of termites is the smell of rotten wood. These insects love to feast on wood, so if you have a lot of termites in your home, you’ll likely be able to smell it.

Moldy Leaves

If you’re smelling moldy leaves, it’s probably because of termites. Termites smell like moldy leaves because they often eat them.

Sweet Smell

Termites also produce a sweet smell that is often described as being similar to honey or syrup. This sweet scent is produced by the queen termite and is used to attract mates.

Do Termites Smell Bad?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. While they do produce a scent that some people might find unpleasant, it’s not necessarily a bad smell.

Termites, unpleasantly, may smell like mildew, mold, or rotten wood but to some people, it might just be a subtle, sweet smell.

However, people would think that termite droppings have a bad smell. These droppings, also known as frass, are made up of wood, termite saliva, and other debris that they eat. Surprisingly, termite droppings do not smell as bad as carnivore droppings.

What to Do If There Is a Termite Smell in Your Home

Your house smelling strange is just a warning sign that you might have a termite problem. It’s not the termites themselves that smell but the fungus that may accompany an infestation.

Termite infestations create extra moisture which allows the fungus to grow. This fungus has a musty or sweet odor. If you notice strange smells in your house, it’s best to check your home for these pests right away.

Termites can cause a lot of damage to your property and the sooner you get rid of them, the better.

There are different ways to get rid of termites and they effectively make sure that they do not come back to create any more problems.

Don’t Ignore the Problem

It can be tempting to ignore the problem and hope that it goes away on its own but this is not the best course of action. Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home and the sooner you get rid of them, the better.

Declutter Your Home

One of the best ways to get rid of termites is to declutter your home. This means getting rid of any old newspapers, magazines, or cardboard boxes that you might have lying around.

Remove Possible Food Sources

Termites have an appetite for wood but they will also eat other things like leaves, grass, and paper. If you have any of these things around your home, it’s best to get rid of them.

You should also make sure that there is no wood near your home that they can infest.

Seal Cracks and Crevices

To prevent termites from getting into your home is to seal off any cracks or holes that might be present. This includes repairing any leaky pipes or fixing any gaps in your foundation.

Eliminate Moisture

Termites thrive and flourish in an environment that is moist. To get rid of them, you need to make sure that your home is dry and free of any water sources.

This means fixing any leaks, getting rid of standing water, and using a dehumidifier in your home.

Use Traps and Treatments

a termite trap surrounded with blocks of wood

There are different chemical treatments that you can use to get rid of termites.

These include baits, sprays, and dust. Bait traps are a great way to get rid of termites because they will take the bait back to their nest and share it with the other members of their colony.

This will eventually kill all the termites in the nest.

Hire a Professional

If all else fails and you’re not sure how to get rid of termites on your own anymore, it’s best to hire a professional. They have the experience and knowledge to effectively get rid of these pests.

They will also be able to give you advice on how to prevent them from coming back in the future.

Final Thoughts

Termites are sneaky creatures and they could do a lot of damage to your home without you even knowing it. They produce a musty odor that resembles the smell of mildew and mold, rotting wood, or moldy leaves.

If you start to notice a musty smell in your home that can’t be explained, it might be time to call a professional to come and take a look.

Stay alert and always be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. Don’t ignore the signs because they could mean that your home is in danger to these tiny wood-eating insects.