Signs of Termites When Buying a Home

Termites can cause long-term and expensive problems. They can rot a home’s building materials, requiring expensive repair or replacement. The bigger the termite infestation, the more expensive (and difficult) they are to get rid of. If you are buying a new home, you need to know if it has any problems with termites before you sign on the dotted line. Otherwise, you could be signing up for a big headache while you battle to save your new home.

Signs of Termites When Buying a Home

You should order a termite inspection in addition to the overall home inspection you get before you buy. But it is also important to know the signs yourself so you can have an idea of what you’re looking at when you are shopping for new homes. Here are some of the signs that a house might have a termite problem:

Mud Tubes

mud tunnels on my new houseeftnew” />Termites travel through mud tubes that they build themselves. They travel from their nests in the ground into the house through these tubes. If you spot the tubes, it is a sure sign that the home has termites.

Look for these mud tubes when you are looking at a house you are thinking about buying. They are small, so they are easy to overlook. Focus on the foundation and especially near any holes or cracks in the stone or concrete brick. The tubes can look like lines of dirt spread out like a fan over the stone. The tubes can also appear on wiring, piping, and other elements.


Subterranean termites are common in Phoenix, and they travel through tunnels in the ground. You can look at the ground around the foundation of the home for evidence of these tunnels. They will have small openings, but they can go several feet underground.

Sometimes, you might see termites in the tunnels. However, even if you don’t see termites, do not assume the tunnels are inactive. Wait for a proper Phoenix termite inspection to see if the tunnels are active or not.

Termite Frass or Wings

termite damageTermite frass is the term for termite waste. The droppings are tiny pellets, and they can be seen near points where termites enter the home, such as by the foundation or cracks in the walls. You will typically see an accumulation of frass since all the termites will come and go through the same outlets. The piles might look like mounds of pepper.

You may also find termite wings near windows or other entry points. The wings are from termites that go scouting for locations for new colonies. If you see the wings – which may resemble fish scales – it’s a good sign that there is an infestation.

Hollow Wood

termite are spotted in my new homeThe more extensive the termite damage becomes, the hollower the wood will sound. If you see any exposed studs or wooden columns, you can knock on the wood and hear a hollow sound. If there are wooden floors in the home, the floors can also sound hollow when you walk on them or knock on them.

Hollow floor boards will also sag or become squeaky. You will walk across the floor and feel a dip under your feet. Again, a Gilbert termite inspection is needed to be sure. The floor boards could also be sagging because there is a broken or rotting joist under them. The inspection will let you know if the termites are really to blame.

Sagging Wallpaper or Peeling Paint

Termites will also eat through drywall, and when they do, that can cause the wallpaper attached to it to sag or the paint to peel. Termite damage can also cause discoloration to appear on the walls. The staining may even look like water damage.

Again, there are other reasons this kind of damage might appear, so the only way to know that termites are the true culprit are to get an inspection.

Pinpoint Holes

As termites eat through the organic matter, they leave behind tiny holes. Often, these holes appear in a maze-like or honeycomb pattern. If the holes create a pattern, they will be easier to see. Otherwise, you’ll need to look closely since these holes can be as small as a pin head.

Put on your eagle eyes when you are browsing potential homes. Many of the signs that termites are present are easy to overlook, ranging from the tiny pin holes in the wood or drywall to the small piles of feces that look like nothing more than the pepper you would put on your food.

Even if you don’t see any signs of termite infestation when you tour the home, always make sure you invest in a Chandler termite inspection before you commit to buy. Termites could be undermining the structure of your home without you knowing it.

Varsity Termite and Pest Control can perform the Mesa termite inspection or can put together a termite control plan that would eradicate these pests and prevent them from returning. As a top Mesa pest control company, we have proven results at eliminating termites and other creepy crawlers that you don’t want in your new home. We also have effective Mesa treatments for scorpions, ants, bees, and other pests. Call us today to schedule an inspection or to learn more about our services.

Guest Blog Published By:

Varsity Termite and Pest Control

West Valley Location:

4122 W Fallen Leaf Lane
Glendale, AZ 85310

Office: 602-264-3648

East Valley Location:

6056 E Baseline Rd #122
Mesa, AZ 85206

Office: 602-757-8252

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