Any house can and should be regularly checked by its owner for signs of wood-destroying insects. One sign is a dirt tube, which can be broken open to inspect for live termites. Live termites will appear as small white specks and should be dealt with by a licensed pest control applicator.
The dirt tube shown here was broken to see if any termites were present. The small white specks inside the circles are live termites. A pest control applicator needs to be hired to treat this structure.