You love your new home. You have been settling in nicely and you love having people over. There is just one thing: You suspect that your house may be infested by termites.
Before you received your keys to the house, you did a final walk-through with your real estate agent, and you didn’t notice anything suspicious. The seller did not disclose any information about termites. But as you explored your new home, you see a few telltale signs that worry you. Here is how you can tell whether your home is infested by termites.
Warning signs of termites
It is not always easy to notice termites, since the pests enjoy dark, damp areas away from humans. However, there are a few major warning signs that indicate their presence, including:
- Termite shelter tubes: Small, hollow cylinders in your walls or floors may indicate that termites are burrowing there.
- Subterranean tunnels: These are underground shelter tubes that you may notice in your lawn or the dirt floor of a basement.
- Earthen packing: Termites can make a type of muddy substance that usually appears at the foundation, walls or joints.
- Tapping sounds: When termites chew, their mandibles often produce an audible tapping or clicking sound.
- Termite droppings: Also called “frass,” termite droppings look like tiny pellets and can accumulate at the termites’ entry.
- Hollow or sagging wood: Termites do not always burrow close to the wood’s surface; instead, they hollow out the wooden interior. If you notice your beams or floors sagging, it may indicate termites.
What to do about termites
If you suspect that your house has termites, you may be tempted to run to an exterminator. Extermination may be necessary, but exterminators do not always completely eradicate these pests. If you hire an exterminator and still have an infestation, you may need to take legal action to hold them accountable and recover damages. You may also wish to take action against the seller for failing to disclose the presence of termites.