Termites, often referred to as ‘silent destroyers’, can cause extensive damage to homes and buildings, often going unnoticed until significant damage has already occurred. These tiny pests feed primarily on wood, but they can also damage paper, books, insulation, and even filtration systems and swimming pool liners. The types of damage termites can inflict vary depending on the species and the location of your home. This article explores the different kinds of damage caused by termites, emphasizing the importance of early detection and control.

Structural Damage

The most significant and costly damage caused by termites is to the structural integrity of a building. Termites can eat away at the wood framing, flooring, and even the wooden siding of a house, compromising its stability. Subterranean termites, which build their colonies underground, are notorious for causing this type of damage. They can tunnel to wooden parts of a structure and begin feeding on the inside, leaving only a thin veneer of wood or paint. Over time, this can lead to weakened structures, uneven floors, bulging walls, and, in severe cases, the collapse of parts of a building.

Cosmetic Damage

In addition to structural damage, termites can cause cosmetic damage to homes. This includes discolored or drooping drywall, peeling paint that resembles water damage, and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. Cosmetic damage is not just an eyesore; it often indicates more severe structural damage beneath the surface. Repairing cosmetic damage without addressing the underlying termite problem is a temporary solution that can lead to more extensive repairs in the future.

Damage to Furniture and Wooden Objects

Termites do not limit themselves to the wood found in the structure of homes. They can also damage wooden furniture, hardwood floors, and other wooden objects within the house. Drywood termites, which do not require contact with soil, can infest furniture and cause extensive damage over time. They consume wood from the inside out, which can ruin antique furniture and other valuable wooden items beyond repair.

Damage to Paper Products

While wood is the primary food source for termites, they also consume other cellulose-based materials, including paper products. This can lead to the destruction of important documents, books, photo albums, and even wallpaper. In offices and homes, such damage can have sentimental as well as financial implications, especially if the items destroyed are irreplaceable.

Damage to Insulation and Filtration Systems

Some termite species can damage non-wood materials, including insulation and filtration systems. By tunneling through or feeding on these materials, termites can reduce the efficiency of insulation, leading to higher energy costs. They can also damage filtration systems for pools and spas, leading to costly repairs and maintenance issues.

The Hidden Costs of Termite Damage

One of the most insidious aspects of termite damage is its hidden cost. Because termites often eat wood from the inside out, significant damage can occur before any signs are visible. This hidden damage can affect the resale value of a home, as termite damage must be disclosed to potential buyers. The cost of repairs, coupled with the potential decrease in property value, makes termite infestations one of the more expensive pest problems to address.

Prevention and Early Detection

The key to minimizing termite damage is prevention and early detection. Homeowners should conduct regular inspections of their property, looking for signs of termites such as mud tubes, damaged wood, and swarms of winged termites, which are often the first visible sign of an infestation. Reducing moisture around the foundation, storing firewood away from the home, and ensuring that wood structures are not in direct contact with soil can also help prevent termite infestations.

If termites are detected, it’s crucial to act quickly. Mariners Pest Control can assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of treatment. Depending on the type of termite and the severity of the infestation, this may include soil treatments, wood treatments, or fumigation.


Termites can cause a wide range of damage, from structural to cosmetic, affecting both the stability and appearance of homes and buildings. The hidden nature of termite damage can lead to extensive and costly repairs if not addressed promptly. By understanding the types of damage termites can cause and taking proactive steps towards prevention and early detection, homeowners can protect their investments and avoid the financial and emotional costs associated with termite infestations.

If you believe you have termites or bugs in or around your home Request a free termite inspection online, call us at 888-945-2847 or visit our contact page. All of our termite inspections are no obligation and 100% free!