In Tucson, there are two kinds of homes – ones that have termites – and ones that will get them. Not a termite expert, but the common termites in Tucson are subterranean and flying ones (which if you live in Tucson long enough – you’ll see them around monsoon season ) – that go after dry wood. Tucson is very dry and so the most common termite is the dry wood one!
Buyers get nervous when they hear an inspector say, “The house has termites.” Thoughts and visions of the 2 x 4’s crashing down around them come to mind. But rarely, will that happen. What most commonly happens is damage in studs – mostly on exterior porches and replacing those boards and doing a termite treatment tends to fix the issue.
Here’s how to spot termites:
- Termites work all the time - but the best time to easily spot them is during monsoon season (May though July) – you’ll see them flying around or they’ll come up from the ground.
- When termites are actively working – you’ll see small brown tunnels hanging from the ceiling – resembling brown icicles, or you’ll see brown “sand like” streaks coming up from the ground onto the interior or exterior walls.
- What do you do? Call a termite company to have a treatment done. Treatment and costs depends on many things - but an average cost for an average home is between $600 and $1,000. (In Tucson, if you are buying a home and termites are found, the entire house will have to be treated in order for it to get a “clear termite report”.)
- If you are buying a “newly remodeled/freshly painted” home – be extra diligent in checking for termites because not all Sellers will treat termites when they see them – they just cover them up.
That said, even if the home is cleared of termites, it’s also still a good idea to consider having a termite treatment policy on the home – because it isn’t about if the house has termites – it’s about when the house will get them!