If you are in the market for a new home, then you need to be cautious when it comes to termites. Although a standard home inspection may catch these pests, it's a good idea to hire a pest control expert to perform a termite inspection if you are buying in an area at high risk of pests. The pest professional will be looking for a few things.
1. Internal Wood Damage
One of the first things your pest professional will look for are signs of wood damage. This includes knocking on wood to see if it sounds hollow, which can indicate it has been chewed through by pests. Another sign of termites is wood that has a dark stain or a surface that seems to be blistering. Wood damage doesn't necessarily mean that there is a current infestation, but there may be old termite damaged that needs to be repaired.
2. Presence of Mud Tubes
Mud tubes can indicate an active termite issue. These tubes look like a network of mud lines running up the siding or exposed foundation of your home. Termites that live in the ground outside of the home construct these tubes to connect their outdoor colony to the house, which is their food source. The presence of mud tubes on the house usually means that termites are actively entering the home to feed.
3. Frass Piles Near Walls
Frass is everything that the termites kick out of their galleries as they chew through the wood in the house. It consists of waste, sawdust, dead termites, and occasionally shed wings. It tends to collect along baseboards near the walls. The presence of frass usually means that there is an active termite infestation, so the home may not be a good choice for purchase unless the termites are exterminated and the damage repaired.
4. Current Treatment Inspection
Ideally, the home will already have termite prevention treatments in place if the area is known to be a hotspot for the pests. Your pest control expert will check for one of the several common preventative treatments. One common treatment is bait stations, which are installed around the perimeter of the home and monitored monthly for activity. Liquid foundation treatments are another common treatment option that they will test for. If the home has treatment in place, you will be provided with information on how to maintain it.
If you have noticed any of these signs, or have further questions, be sure to get in contact with a local residential pest control company.