Would You Recognize Signs of Subterranean Termites If You Saw Them?

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:


A Signal There May Be Subterranean Termites

Mud tubes traveling from the ground on the foundation are one sign that subterranean termites may be present.

Are those subterranean termites?

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 aren’t being difficult if they won’t warranty 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.

And if you’re concerned about repairs

Don’t worry, they wont rip your foundation up… Not entirely. Here’s what the foundation looks like after treatment – just a few quarter sized holes are drilled out and later refilled so that chemical injections can be made into the soil below the affected area.

Subterranean termite treatment

Post-treatment floor. Visible are a few quarter-cent size spots on the foundation.

Interested in reading more about local termites, pests, and inspections? Check these out:

How Often Should You Get A Termite Inspection?

What Is Cellulose Debris (in a pest or termite report)?

What Kinds of Inspections and Reports Are Needed For Buying and Selling Homes in Silicon Valley?

Watch for Dampwood Termites in Silicon Valley!

Choosing a Termite and Pest Company…