Purchasing a new home can seem daunting. Choosing a lender, making an offer, home inspections and appraisals. The list goes on and on. As you check each box, don’t forget to include a pest inspection. One specific pest to be on the lookout for is termites.

Termite damage is often undetected, costly, and dangerous. Approximately 600,000 homes in the U.S. are affected by these pests each year resulting in $5 billion in estimated damage. The most commonly found termite in North America is the Eastern Subterranean. Knowing the signs of an invasion by this pest can save you from house buying regret and unplanned costs. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for.

 

Discarded Wings

One of the first signs of a termite infestation is discarded termite wings. Subterranean termites shed their wings after reproducing and starting a new colony. Once they have shed their wings, they are able to crawl into small crevices within a home. The wings are typically 1/4-1/2 inches long and translucent.

 

Mud Tubing

Mud tubing is small tunnel-like structures termites build to protect themselves when traveling to their colony or food source. The tubes protect these pests from dry environments and predators, and they typically run from the ground to exposed wood both inside and outside of a home. To determine if the mud tubing is no longer active you can simply break off a portion of the mud tubing. If the broken portion remains unrepaired after a few days, it is no longer in use. One important thing to note is termites do abandon mud tubes and build new ones when in need of a different food source, so it is best to assume termites may still be causing damage in a home.

 

Stuck Windows or Doors

Another sign of a termite infestation is stuck windows and doors. With wood being termites’ food source, it means they typically start with what is easily accessible and on the exterior of a home. As the termites eat away at structures such as windows and door frames, the wood begins to warp. This can make it difficult to open and close windows and doors.

 

Damage Under Paint or Wallpaper

Paint and wallpaper bubbles or peeling is a sign termites are present in a home. This happens when there is moisture under the paint or wallpaper and is more commonly found near baseboards, entryways and windowsills. Typically, if you see this within a home, it means the structure has already been severely damaged by termites.

To be sure the home you are purchasing is termite-free, we recommend reaching out to your local pest experts for an inspection.

 

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