Since termites are about as small as ants, you might not think they would make any noise for you to hear or notice. However, termites actually do make noises that are sometimes easy to hear and sometimes not so easy to hear. When they are at work they make low volume sounds that you’d need a stethoscope to hear. But if you were to tap on a piece of wood or other object that was infested with termites, then you would hear a more noticeable sound.
There are three types of sounds you will hear from a termite infestation. The first two are a papery rustling sound and a dry rattle sound. The paper rustling sound indicates the termites are tunneling their way close to the wood’s surface. The dry rattling sound is when the termites are banging their heads on the tunnel as they pass through it. These are the sounds that may be harder to hear on your own. But the third sound is more of a hollow sound which you can hear after tapping the wood that became hollow from the termites. Once you tap the wood, the termites will become disturbed and feel threatened. This causes them to quickly rush through the tunnel walls they created, which makes a much louder dry rattling sound that humans can hear on their own. Any time you hear a hollow sound then it means the wood is infested with termites. Chances are if you don’t hear this sound after tapping on the wood then you won’t hear those other sounds either. This would indicate there are no termites.
As for termites, they are not able to hear sounds at all. They only react to vibrations that they feel around them. So if you were to make noise near the termites then they wouldn’t react at all. But if you were to tap or move the wood they’re infesting, then it will send vibrations that will alert them of a disturbance. When the termites are banging their heads against the walls of the tunnel they are actually communicating with each other. Even though they don’t hear the rattling sounds, the rattling still creates vibrations that serve as a form of communication between the termites. But as a human, these sounds will alarm you that you have an infestation problem and it will give you the incentive to notify your local exterminator to come eliminate these annoying pests.
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