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Tuesday Tip - Beware of the Termites

Real Estate Agent with Front Gate Real Estate Broker 11085

Termites can infiltrate your home at any time, but we tend to notice those little buggers in the springtime more than any other season. Perhaps that's because as homeowners, we are outside more, doing yardwork after a cold winter or are spring cleaning inside our home and notice the tell-tale signs.

This past week I had calls from two family members who had discovered termites. In one instance, termites were already chomping the sheetrock inside the home; in the other case, termites were discovered in landscaping timbers while doing clean up in the yard.

My advise to both relatives was to call a termite inspector. For the first relative, there is visible damage, but it's too early to tell how extensive the damage will be. In the second situation, perhaps the termites were only in the landscape timbers (flower beds) and have not yet invaded the house.

The best way to deter termites is to avoid "conducive conditions". This is a phrase we see frequently on termite reports.

Conducive conditions can include shrubbery too close to the home, wood to ground contact, moist, damp areas, rotten wood, and firewood stacked too close to your home.

For preventive measures, a homeowner should keep an eye on the perimeter of the home to be on the lookout for mud tunnels, which is how Subterranean Termites gain inside access. 

A termite company can inspect your home for signs of termites and treat if necessary. Most companies will do a free inspection if you call and ask. 

In the south, there is a saying; "The question isn't IF you are going to get termites. It's WHEN". So do yourself a favor and watch out for the signs.

Many homeowners purchase a termite contract and pay a renewal premium each year. In addition to an annual inspection, this is an option for those who want peace of mind. Reach out to a trusted professional for more information.


Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Kathy Streib - you could have termites in Texas, too, right? They sure get around.

Laura Cerrano - if they go unnoticed and untreated, yes, termites can cause a lot of damage. 

John Pusa - it's so good to see you. Hope all is well. Thanks for your kind words.

May 21, 2024 08:46 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Here in Los Angeles or should I say California, termites are a big problem due to our mild climate.... now with that said we have bi- monthly pest control visits to protect us, Endre

May 21, 2024 09:49 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Sometimes builders will bury unused wood scraps in the yard providing food for termites

May 22, 2024 05:59 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

We took down a plaster exterior wall a month ago to install a new French Doors to the patio. Bad past termite damage , the studs we extremely brittle ( crumbled in your hand ) ..

May 22, 2024 06:13 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Endre Barath, Jr. - good to see you, my friend! Bi-monthly? Wow! Local termite companies will come and do a free inspection; in fact, my appointment is Friday. But we don't have visits as frequent as yours. 

Edward Gilmartin - true, although a disgusting policy. But another reason why we should monitor the perimeter around our homes.

May 22, 2024 06:26 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Michael J. Perry - scary stuff! It's always a good practice to check the studs once you discover termites have gotten into your home. 

May 22, 2024 06:29 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Pat,

Some years ago, I worked in an office that had termites dropping out of the heating ducts every spring. Spring is the time for termites to conquer foreign lands and build new colonies. This happened for at least 5 years until a smart HVAC guy put some window screen on the exhaust pipe, so the termites could no longer enter. No more termites inside after that. Not hospitable anyhow, since they are looking for damp rotting wood. If you do not have any, your home is uninteresting to them.

May 22, 2024 07:32 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Hello, Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty termite certs are part of our agreements, but I would not say they come back very often in our climate. It is always smart to notify a pest control  exterminator if you are suspicious 

May 22, 2024 07:53 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Dorte Engel - creepy! That could be a horror movie; the Revenge of the Termites!

Hannah Williams - it is also part of our sales agreements; every sale is to have a clear WDIR

May 22, 2024 07:59 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Pat,

Termites are not that creepy. They break down fallen logs in the woods to return them to the nutrient stream. You just do not want them to do that to some of your studs that are secretly getting wet from a persistent wall or roof leak. I like termite testing too, because it is amazing what sellers do not know about their own homes.

May 22, 2024 08:08 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty

The "creepy" part is imagining them falling from the air ducts. I agree; it's good to know if termites are prevalent in your area and to be aware of their existence; and the signs to look out for.

May 22, 2024 08:27 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Pat we use the same phrase here up north, often termites are found in the mulch sprayed by the landscapers, I just had a home where the buyer's inspector discovered termite evidence and one of the things we requested was a termite treatment.

May 22, 2024 12:26 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

That's a valuable list of reminders about trying to reduce risk of termites.  They can do so much damage.  I once had an infestation in a garage wall.  Surprisingly, there was cement all around.  Yet, they built a tunnel in.

May 22, 2024 05:14 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Pat, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Clubgroup!  

May 22, 2024 05:14 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good advice to share with home owners.

I hope you are having a productive month.

May 23, 2024 05:41 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Congratulations on the feature. My understanding Mohave County has 15 different types of termites. The brokerage firm of Dirt Road Real Estate always encourages termite inspections and some lenders such as the VA require it but the buyer can't pay for the termite inspection.

May 23, 2024 07:42 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 your example of the termite inspection is the same SOP in my marketplace. It is a standard clause in our purchase agreements.

Myrl Jeffcoat - where there is a will, there is a way. They will find their way in, so we have to be aware and vigilant. Thank you for the feature in your group!

May 23, 2024 09:24 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Roy Kelley - so good to see you. Thanks for your comment.

Leanne Smith - 15 different types of termites, wow! And different treatment requirements, I suspect. Thankfully we usually just see the one type in MS. I'm surprised it is such an issue in Arizona. We have a special termite clause in our sales contracts that stipulates who pays and the following process should termites be found. The responsibility usually falls to the seller.

May 23, 2024 09:28 AM
Leanne Smith

As I am not a termite inspector, I don't know the different formulas for treatment. Out here usually the buyer pays for termite unless it is a VA loan.

May 23, 2024 09:46 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Good information and advice, Pat. Termites are a big issue here in our mild climate and termite inspections are often part of the home purchase process often requested of the seller by the buyer with any issues, including active termites, to be corrected by the seller. Some sellers do them up front. 


May 24, 2024 05:17 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Termites is one thing we dont have to worry about up here! Great information!

thank you 

May 25, 2024 01:56 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

My house has been tented and fumigated once to get red of those evil bugs.

Also damaging is wood damage caused by water. Even with no termites, there can be serious wood damage.


May 25, 2024 07:14 AM