Recently I was showing a buyer of mine a San Jose house which was vacant.  Often a home is occupied and the garage, in particular, is full of stuff so it’s hard to see the walls very well.  In this case, though, we could easily view where the walls in the garage meet the floor.  And this is what we saw:

possible subterranean termite tubes in san jose, ca

Only a qualified, licensed Pest Control Operator can diagnose termites and pests, but this looks a lot like subterranean termite tubes to me.  When you see “mud tubes” such as this, it is time to call a good termite and pest control company for diagnosis and treatment.

Why do termite & pest companies insist that the garage be largely free of personal possessions when they inspect? It is so that they don’t miss things exactly like this. 

When buying or selling a home, understand that the inspectors arent being difficult if they won’t warrantee a garage as free of pests when they cannot view the walls or floor.  Bookshelves and personal storage can obstruct the view of things like this.  If you’re selling, be ready for the inspectors – have all your items away from the walls or even better, entirely out of the garage. If they have to call a packed garage as an “unknown further inspection”, it’s likely to cause you problems later, when there’s a time pressure.  Best to know upfront, for everyone’s sake, what the score is.


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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
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Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.

Best Realtor blog award
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The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers

Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.

Non blog award

Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
in Silicon Valley"

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News