Investment Infested? Part One: Look For Signs of Termites

Home invasions by vermin are common, but certain pests are worse than others.
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Before you shook hands on your deal, did you make sure your investment property is clear of infestations? Have you checked for bugs, mice and—ugh—rats? If not, you may have opened a big can of worms.

Home invasions by vermin are common, but certain pests are worse than others. For instance, no one likes spiders but as bugs go, they’re a lot less troublesome than other bugs.

For instance, unless they are of a poisonous variety, the worst thing spiders do is creep us out. They usually just hang out in the corners of rooms or in the garage. On the other hand, termites and carpenter ants can be destructive—so much so that they devalue your real estate investment. If you don’t find out before you buy, and depending on the extent of damage, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to eradicate.

Look For Evidence

One of the most important tasks on your inspection list should be looking for signs that the occupant was sharing his or her home with termites. This is a skill you will be happy you learned early on in your career as an investor. Don’t wait to learn from experience. Head those pests off at the pass.

Secure your investment BEFORE you shell out the cash. Look for signs yourself and then hire a trusted inspector to dig deeper.

Depending on where your investment property is, there are different types of termites. Dry Wood Termites are usually found in warm southern climates while subterranean termites are found in other parts of the US. There are a few differences.

Dry Wood Termites

Dry wood termites build colonies using the wood they feed on. They burrow, constructing mazes of tunnels and even chambers within walls and wooden furniture. If you see this sort of thing, it’s a strong indication of their presence.

Termites consume wood. Look for little piles of feces in the shape of pellets. You’ll see them in termite nests. Small piles are also attributed to winged dry wood termites. They swarm and shed wings, and these piles you’ll find all over the house.

Heads up! Sagging floors, walls, and ceilings are often attributed to water damage but termites are often the culprits.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites build underground colonies. They travel above ground to gain access to food sources. These critters enter homes through cracked foundations or places that are unsealed. Subterranean termites construct brown, dry tunnels from mud, feces, and saliva. They use these cylindrical passageways to get into homes and buildings.

Secure your investment BEFORE you shell out the cash. Look for signs yourself and then hire a trusted inspector to dig deeper.

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