Is this termite damage?

Hello all,

Not sure if this is the best forum but have seen other discussion of termite related problems in here so I'll give it a stab.

I have just purchased a PPOR in Sydney. It is a double brick house built in 1954 and whilst we went over the house thouroughly with a mate who is a builder we did not get a pest inspection done.

When ripping up the carpet in one of the bedrooms I have come across some damage to a skirting board and holes in the wooden floor where whatever has caused the damage apparently arrived via.

Here is a link to photos of the damage (you can get closer views by clicking on "all sizes" in menu above photos);

It is a double brick house on brick pillars up off the ground. There is no garden up against the house and no wood going down to the ground. I thought that would have made it a bit unlikely to be termites but after reading up on the net apparently not.

It appears that something has eaten up through the floor board and then followed the grove of the carpet underlay till it reached the skirting board where it has eaten through about 30cm worth. The floorboards in the area still feel solid, the only damage appears to be two very small holes. It appears the damage may have occurred some time ago and there is no evidence of life there now.

Does anyone recognise the type of critter that may have caused this?

I am definitely going to get a pest company in, but am going to wait a week or two while I paint the rest of the house and rip up the carpet throughout the rest of the house so we can have a good look for any damage. Can't find any so far so fingers crossed. Been up in the roof and under the house and have found nothing else as well.

Thanks for info.

Hi miloolim,

Could it be water damage?

Is that black mould?

Termites usually leave little grooves and holes sparodically in the wood. Is the wood hollow?

It is hard to tell by the photos but it doesn't jump out at me that there have been termites there.

I am no expert of course, but I am glad you are organising an inspection.

Regards JO
Looks like old termite tracks to me. They always make covered tracks like that to shelter from the light. If they were still there you would see them when you break open the track. Better check the rest of the house just in case they have moved into another room.
Doesn't look like our familiar termite damage.

Looks more like rot, water damage or something but its hard to tell.

Termites leave what looks like 'mud', very hard but porous like a sponge, its made from dirt and chewed up wood stuck together with termite spit. They leave very distinctive furrows in the back of wood.
Looks like old termite tracks to me.

Yep, looks the same to me - old. But if I were you I'd be finding out where they moved onto in the house BEFORE you paint any walls that might (??) need pulling apart to go looking for the little blighters.

It is not uncommon for them to go places, eat a bit, decide they don't like that bit anymore, backtrack and start somewhere else. :eek:
A couple of pics that are definately termite tracks, they are a hollow pipe that they build to travel through, as Rockstar said.

Whilst they're travelling they do little damage, it's when they stop for lunch that the trouble starts. You need to find where they came from to kill them or determine if they're no longer active, before you do much renovating.


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It is not uncommon for them to go places, eat a bit, decide they don't like that bit anymore, backtrack and start somewhere else. :eek:
I've had them doing that to my old house for 130 years. The house is still standing. They did their worst damage after we were flooded and they marched in and ate a small built-in cupboard that just happened to be the entry point for the water. They LOVE damp wood.
Thanks for the advice. No need to stop painting as the walls are solid brick and the only wood they can eat is the floorboards and joists and the roof trussing. I've had a good look and can find no damage in the roof or under the floor. Will have a better look once the carpets are up ready for floorboards to be polished.

Will get a pest inspection then. It is definitely not just damp or water damage as there are little eggs or faeces that has been left behind.
Looks like termite daae to me that last phot with a small peice of wood that's definite termite dge As is a pervious one with damage on what looks like a white skirting board. sorry.

If you notice black ants in any of termite damaged wood, it means the termites have left tht peice of wood for another. And they do move from peice to pecie, but what people ldont realise is they ae not loners, they are nest ainsects and live in colonies- they have armies of termites in heaps of differnt peices of wood at one time bringing food home for the masses.

No harm done if you replce / repair dmaaged wood before the pest controller comes out. If they find active termites though they do try to treat them, so good to leave those alone if you notice them.
Termites - nothing surer.

I would get it sorted asap. Dont go ripping stuff out though, get pest guys in to do what they are paid for.

There will be a nest somewhere nearby, unless it is old and has been treated previously.
Just an update. cheers everyone for the advice.

Was indeed termite damage, but luckily for me it was the only damage in the house and it was quite old. Pest guys came out and went through the house, found some mud trails/pipes but only went up to the floor at the one point I found. Told me that someone else probably also had them at same time and had them treated, thus killing ones in my house as well.

So lucky me. Will keep a regular eye on it though (yearly inspections at least).