What You Need to Know About Termites in South Carolina

South Carolina is at high risk of termites, so homeowners need to educate themselves to protect their homes.
Written by Nick Kunze
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Due to its humid climate,
South Carolina
is a hotbed for termite infestation. South Carolina homeowners need to be aware of the signs of a termite infestation to protect their homes. 
Termites can be a true nightmare. However, knowledge is power in this case—knowing how to spot and handle a termite infestation can save your home from serious damages.
Check out this helpful guide, created by
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How to tell if you have a termite infestation

One reason termites can cause so much damage is it's easy to miss their presence. Termites can be destroying your home for months before you even notice.
The faster you can identify a termite infestation, the more damage you can prevent. Here are some signs you might have a termite infestation:
  • Discarded wings: While worker termites don’t have wings, the reproductive cast does. If you find wings in your house—especially around window sills—there are likely termites in your home.
  • Mud tubes: If you spot small mud tunnels along the foundation of your house, this is a sure sign of termites.
  • Hollow-sounding walls: If your walls (or other wood structures) make an unusual hollow sound when you knock on them, this can indicate termite damage.
  • Droppings: Termite droppings—also known as frass—resemble piles of sawdust. If you’re finding termite droppings, you’re likely dealing with an infestation.
Some other indicators to watch out for include peeling paint, swelling walls, or holes in the drywall.

Are termites a problem in South Carolina?

Yes, a termite infestation is a common occurrence in South Carolina. Termites like humid climates, which makes them feel right at home in South Carolina.  
The US Forest Service’s map of
Termite Infestation Probability Zones
shows where else in the country you’re most likely to have a termite problem.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common termites found in South Carolina. 

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are the most likely species to damage your home. They build underground colonies then burrow up through the foundation. This makes them harder to spot since they don’t leave mud tubes around the exterior of your home. 
Both the most common and most destructive termite, subterranean termites swarm in daylight hours from mid-Fall to mid-Summer

Formosan termites

A form of subterranean termites, Formosan termites are known as super termites. They have a longer body than regular subterranean termites. Formosan termites can cause more damage because they build cartons that bring moisture directly to their nests, while most termites need to return to the soil. This allows them to work more efficiently at turning your home into their kingdom. 
These termites are known to swarm at night during the late Spring
This type of termite is common along the coast and was first discovered in America in Charleston, South Carolina.  

Drywood termites

These termites—which only eat dry wood—commonly can be found in attics or other dry places. The best way to spot them is through their droppings, which resemble piles of sawdust.
Drywood termites can swarm all year!

What to do if you have termites

If you have termites, don’t panic. It happens to plenty of homeowners and is a fixable problem.
Here are a few solutions to a termite infestation:
  • Bait stations: Bait stations are plastic containers left around the exterior of your home that attract and kill termites—similar in concept to a fly trap. While unobtrusive to your day-to-day life, this solution can take months to work. This delay could cause further damage to your home.
  • Liquid pesticide barrier: A pest control company will dig a trench that encircles your house and pour in a termiticide. This will effectively create a moat that will kill any termite that tries to enter. This method is specific to subterranean termites.
  • Fumigation: Exterminators will tent your whole house and fill it with a termite-killing gas. Everyone (and all pets) in the home will need to leave for 24 hours or more. This is the best option for widespread infections. 

How to save money on homeowners insurance

Homeowners policies rarely cover you from termite damage (or any type of infestation). The best way to prevent widespread damage is to be aware of signs of termites and act decisively if there’s an infestation.
Homeowners insurance
is a huge help in plenty of other situations, however, which is why you want to have the best policy possible. To make the most of your homeowners insurance (and improve your
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The state of South Carolina is one of the most active areas for termites in the United States. Its climate is perfect for termites, making termite swarms a common occurrence.
If you fumigated, you should be termite-free for years. If you used less obtrusive methods, like bait stations, you may need to repeat the treatment every few months.
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