Are you constantly checking in with your social networks? If yes, you may have more in common with a termite than you think.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, termites stay in touch with their colonies constantly, and they communicate using vibrations, physical contact and chemical signals such as smell.

Do termites make noise that humans can hear?

Yes. If you have an infestation, there are three common termite sounds that you might hear:

  • A dry rattle

  • A papery rustling

  • The hollow sound heard when the wood is tapped

While the first two sounds are physically caused by termites in action, the latter stems from hollow voids left in the wood by termites as they eat through your home.

Why would I hear a dry rattle sound?

When termites are threatened or disturbed, they communicate by banging their heads against the walls of their tunnels. This creates a dry rattling that human ears can hear. Termites, however, cannot hear audible noise; they react to the vibration they feel. For an example of the rattling, click here.

What causes a papery rustling sound?

Drywood termites can tunnel near the surface of the wood, which can cause a papery rustling sound as the insects move, according to the State of Florida’s Department of Agricultural and Consumer services.

What does hollow-sounding wood mean?

If tapping on the wood in your home produces a hollow-sounding tone, you may have termites.


The noises termites make are faint and rarely heard. You would need a stethoscope to hear termites at work. Alternatively, if you tap the surface of the wood surrounding termite damage, a hollow sound can easily be heard. While this is the most reliable sound for detecting termite damage, it is only one piece of the larger body of evidence needed to confirm termite infestation.

A professional termite inspection gives you the best chance of finding termites in your home, whether you hear termite sounds or not. Even then, with the best inspectors on the case, elusive termites might still be actively damaging your home, undetected. Take your precaution one step further and get the protection of a termite damage repair guarantee from a company that can stand behind it.