Lions, Tigers and Termites, oh my!

Real Estate Broker/Owner CalBRE# 01433049

California Termites


Lions, Tigers and Termites, oh my! So, I kind of fibbed about the lions and tigers, but we have enough termites in California to make up for it. I recently had a buyer do the Heebie Jeebie dance when she learned that the property she intends to buy is infested with subterranean termites.

The Urban Dictionary defines the Heebie Jeebies as "A feeling of minor fright, anxiety, nervousness, apprehension, 'the willies', phobic." Yep, that's about right. Knowing that ANY 6+ legged pest is crawling under your house is enough to keep you awake at night.

So here is what happens next. The pest company will send out a technician to chemically treat the subarea soil. Then they will drill and pressure treat concrete walkways, patios, steps and porches. I hate the thought of chemicals being used, but if this isn't done, the termites will destroy any wood they come in contact with. Although I've heard they don't like redwood that much.

Below is a photo of a termite "tube" coming up from the garage floor to the threshold step into the house. The subterranean termites live below and love moisture, but the have to come up for air ... I mean wood ... to survive.



We choose where we live, regardless of the consequences. Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Locusts, Alligators. Lions, Tigers and Termites, oh my.


United States Termite Map

* United States Termite Map. I guess Alaska doesn't count.


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Cynthia Larsen (707-332-2560) is an independent real estate referral broker in Sonoma County, California as well as a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist.

CA Broker License #01433049


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Kathryn Acciari
Century 21 Real Estate - Shrewsbury, MA
Brand Ambassador and Business Coach

We often forget that we create dwellings first and foremost to protect ourselves from nature. And, nature will always try to get inside! Luckily, pests like termites can be detected and prevented from doing damage. Great post, Cynthia!

Dec 05, 2017 11:03 AM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Cynthia our joke in AZ is that there are two kinds of houses - one that has termites and the other that will have termites! Not a big deal if caught early and it usually is in my neck of the woods. Folks from other areas do freak out a bit until they understand it's just part of the landscape.

Dec 05, 2017 11:03 AM #2
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Here in Sacramento, it is those Subterranean Termites that we encounter most often.  Occasionally however, we see the kind prevalent in Southern California, and need to tent the house to eradicate.

Dec 05, 2017 01:39 PM #3
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Termites are prevalent here.  And this area having an infatuation with shredded wood mulch, it's only a matter of time before homes get the creep factor of termites moving in.

Dec 05, 2017 03:08 PM #4
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Cynthia. Termites are really scary. If the damage is overwhelming I move on.

Dec 06, 2017 08:58 AM #5
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Cynthia: If it's not termites, it's powder post beetles or carpenter ants. I had a pest company present an inspection claiming an infestation when the tubes had been vacated a long time ago. For some reason, the agent on the other side thought they should have removed the tubes 2 years ago when they were eradicated, and I don't know of any companies who remove the tubes. Do you?

Dec 06, 2017 09:06 AM #6
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

We had a showing scheduled to see a house and canceled after hearing there was a bed bug situation. NO thank you!

Another listing has a termite issue. NO thank you!

I'm pleasantly surprised to see your graphic showing NH as not having a big problem.

Jan 04, 2018 11:11 AM #7
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi there, wow, this a great map. We once had a beach house along the Oregon coast that had a termite problem. Had to have the foundation raised and rebuilt as they had destroyed all the wood laying on top of the cement and even had damage about a third of the way up the walls. It was when I was a youngun and we bought the house without an inspection. The house had been remodeled and our agent told us there was no need for an inspection-everything had been updated and it was in great shape. This, at that time, twenty-something believed him. Argh. 

Jan 23, 2018 06:09 AM #8
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I was looking for your current blog. I hope all is going well for you.

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Jan 27, 2018 07:16 AM #9
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Remind your buyer the termites were here first-we moved in on their territory.

Jun 06, 2018 11:52 AM #10
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Cynthia Larsen

Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA
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