Holes and tunnels in interior drywall

Question: I have just been notified by a tenant that an interior drywall has developed holes and tunnels. Some of the holes are capped with a brownish material. Could this be termites, and, if so, what type of termite is most likely? In some places on the interior, I do see what I recognize as termite damage.

Answer: Most likely these are subterranean termites. The "caps" could be what are normally called "swarm castles." Termite reproductives build these after the colony has been around the structure anywhere between three to five years. This is a sign that they have either swarmed, or are preparing to do so.

Swarming is an activity the colony will undertake in preparation for reproducing to expand the colony. Most likely they have not yet swarmed, as your tenant would be reporting flying bugs inside the property. Now is the time for action! It is time to call Orkin for a inspection and to help protect the property with professional treatment.

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