You Have Termites Now What?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Real

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What are termites - termites are small, burrowing insects that eat wood , especially damp wood,  and they resemble small white ants.

How do I know if I have termites - there are some indicators that let you know you may have a termite infestation.  The most common termites in the United States are subterranean termites and they build earthen-shelter tubes that are up to an inch wide and can be found in crawl spaces and inside and outside slab foundations.  Subterranean termites usually are located in the soil from which “workers” build mud tubes to structural wood where they can feed.

Subterranean termites usually go unnoticed until the winged reproductive "swarm" from or inside a structure. If you see a swarm, there is a pretty good chance that there is a well established termite infestation in the structure.

When you are buying a house, the mortgage company will require you to have a termite inspection.  If the home does not pass the termite inspection, you will be required to have it professionally treated before you can close.

You can obtain a list of qualified exterminators from your realtor.  Have them look at the home and give you detailed treatment options.  You can then compare how much they each charge for their services and choose the best treatment option available.  

The inspector will look for two signs to determine whether or not to pass this home's termite inspection.  They will look for an active termite infestation and evidence of a previous infestation.

If the home was treated for a previous infestation,  the company that performed the original treatment may be willing to re-certify the home without a second treatment.  The most common way to find out if the home has previously been treated for termites is to look under the kitchen sink.  Most pest control companies will post a treatment notification on the inside of the cabinet door.  The treatment notice will include the date they last performed their service at that location.  If you do not find a treatment notification under the kitchen sink cabinet, look around other areas of the house for a treatment notification posting.

You will want to schedule your termite inspection as soon as possible.  Do not wait until the last minute to have this done.  If there is an infestation that will require treatment, this will delay your closing until this has been completed.  

Your realtor deals with these types of things every day and will have a list of reputable pest control companies that can do this for you as reasonable as possible.  So call your realtor and get the ball rolling now.   Your realtor will be more than happy to help you with anything you need!


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Peggy  Harmeyer & Associates

RE/MAX Real Estate Group

932 Shadyview Blvd.

Pleasant Hill, Ia 50327

Licensed in the State of Iowa

Peggy : 515-208-8132 

Caitlyn: 515-321-3821

An Independently Owned and Operated Member RE/MAX Real Estate Group

Information is believed to be accurate but should not be relied on without verification.


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Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/ - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Oh boy do we have termites here in the tropics. They are the kiss of death for any deal. It is always wise for sellers to have their homes treated and get the warrantee with the service.

Mar 27, 2013 10:47 AM #1
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Peggy, termites can be a never ending problem once they take hold in a neighborhood. thanks for your post today,

Mar 27, 2013 10:47 AM #2
Peggy Harmeyer- Harmeyer Team
RE/MAX Real - Altoona, IA
Licensed in the State of Iowa

Thanks for the comments Tanya and Pamela.  I am not sure that any community is immune to termites.


Mar 27, 2013 10:52 AM #3
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