The prospect of moving into a home with pest problems is enough to scare anyone. However, termites are one of the worst pest problems you can have because they damage the structural integrity of your new house. As you head out to tour prospective new homes, be sure to stay alert for these signs of a serious termite problem.
Seeing Evidence of a Swarm
Termites typically stay hidden well within the wooden areas of your home, but they do come out during swarming season. This usually happens about twice a year, and you might catch a swarm occurring if you visit a house during the early evening or morning hours. If you miss it, you may still see piles of wings in the areas where a swarm occurred. However, many sellers clean their houses frequently, which makes this sign easy to miss unless you arrange for pest control services to inspect the property.
Noticing Problems As You Walk Through the House
When you tour a house, it is important to pay attention to the little details that let you know that the building is structurally sound. For instance, feeling hardwood floors buckle beneath your feet is a sign that termites may have done damage below the flooring materials. You may also notice that doors and windows do not shut properly, and this is another indication that termites may have dried out the wood during their tunneling. When you see a wooden area of the home that looks suspicious, give it a tap. Hearing a hollow sound emanating from the wood is a sign that termites may have bored through the inside.
Finding Mud Tunnels or Frass
Although termites prefer to stay hidden, they must sometimes make their way away from a house to get food or water. When this happens, they build mud tunnels that shield them from view. Look along the foundation and exterior walls for little mounds of mud that trail away from the house. As you tour the house, you can also look for frass. These termite droppings look like sawdust and tend to collect in little mounds along the areas where termites have set up their colonies.
Discovering that a house has termites does not always mean that the home is unlivable. Often, the damage can be caught early enough for pest control to stop the infestation before it gets worse. By being aware of the signs of termites, you can go into your buyer's arrangement with full knowledge of the condition of your new home. To learn more, check out websites like http://www.antsplus.net.
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