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How Do You Get Termites in Your House?

Termites In A Nest.

What is the first sign of termites?

When termites enter home the first sign of a termite infestation is flying termites. These flying termites, also called swarmers or alates, are the males and females that have left a nest in search of a mate to establish a new colony. You may see them swarming at night around light sources, and most drywood species you see swarming. Spotting these flying insects is just one of the signs of termites in homes. Learn more about how to spot termites in the home by checking for the following signs of termites:

  • Seeing blisters in the wood flooring: If you’re noticing what appears to be blisters in wood flooring, this could mean termites are feeding within it or below. Subterranean termite species damage the subfloor in a way that makes wood floors appear water damaged.
  • Seeing hollowed or damaged wood: Damage to wood behind walls is evidence of a termite infestation. You’ll notice long grooves in the wood that weaken the wood. The wood may also appear hollowed or honeycombed.
  • Finding discarded wings or other evidence of swarms: Once termites land, they twist off their wings, because they have found a place to establish a new colony. You may find these wings near windows, doors, and other access points.
  • Finding mud tubes: In areas where the ground meets the house, you may find pencil-sized mud tubes, indicating subterranean termites have begun nesting underground.
  • Noticing droppings: Drywood termites leave droppings that look like sawdust or coffee grounds.

If you suspect you may have termites, or want to find out if a property you are buying may be infested, give CKA Home Inspections LLC a call at (817) 437-2397 for a termite inspection

While some damage caused by termites might look like water damage, when you have actual water damage, you’ll need to hire a restoration service to clean and restore your property.

Where do termites live?

In the U.S. three termite species, subterranean. Formosan subterranean, and drywood, are the primary species that cause damage to homes and property in the area. Both the subterranean and Formosan species build their nests underground access wood through pencil-sized tunnels called mud tubes. These tubes are signs of termites in homes. These species require soil to survive. Drywood termites, on the other hand, can survive anywhere wood is available as a food source. You can find them in the walls, in the wood framing in bathrooms, and even in furniture.  

What do you do if you have termites?

If you’ve noticed signs of termites in homes like mud tubes or hollowed wood, or they’ve been found through a termite inspection, the termites can be removed. The earlier they’ve been discovered, the better, because they’re likely to have caused less damage than a long-term infestation. Usually, once you’ve found termites, you’ll need to get in touch with a pest control service to get rid of them. 

Once your home has been treated for termites, and any repairs have been made, you can prevent their return through various means. By taking precautionary measures like trimming shrubbery away from the house and foundation and limiting mulch around the home, you can help prevent their return. You also want to keep firewood away from the base of the home, and make sure any moisture buildup or airflow problems are taken care of as soon as possible. Even with these preventative measures in place, always stay alert to the signs of termites in homes.

Can you treat for termites yourself?

If you already have an infestation, it’s usually best to enlist the services of pest control to remove the infestation. Preventative measures such as trimming back shrubbery can be taken as well. You may also apply termite control pesticides to infested areas, or around the base of the building as a preventative measure. There are also termite baits available that can be placed in the soil around the home to lure the insects out to kill them.

What kills termites naturally?

There are methods to kill termites naturally without using liquid pesticides or baits. Some natural methods include using nematodes, vinegar, borates or borax powder, orange oil or wet cardboard.

Nematodes are parasitic worms that eat termites.They can bought online or at specialty stores and placed in areas where the termites are or where you believe them to be. You can spray a mixture of half a cup of vinegar mixed with the juice of two lemons where the termites are. This mixture kills the termites on contact. Borax, which you can buy as a laundry detergent, can be sprinkled around the affected area, or mixed with water and sprayed on the area. 

Orange oil, which can be bought at home improvement stores, can be sprayed directly on the termites to dissolve their exoskeletons. Regularly spraying orange oil around the home serves as a deterrent to infestation.

Wet cardboard can be placed near an infestation to draw the termites out. They will begin eating the cardboard. As they feast, you can burn the cardboard to kill them. This process will need to be repeated. 

A Technician Inspects a Termite Infestation.

Termites in house for sale

Signs of termites in homes can be discouraging for homebuyers. If termites are found in a house for sale, it can be a deal breaker. When you see signs of termites in home in Fort Worth, TX, give CKA Home Inspections LLC a call at (817) 437-2397 for a termite inspection.

What’s Involved in an Attic Inspection?

Checking for adequate insulation is a key part of an attic inspection.

Get a Complete Picture with Attic Inspection

As one of the last steps of the home buying process, you’ll need to have a home inspection. This inspection reveals any flaws and defects that will need attention before the closing papers are signed. One area home buyers should consider when getting a home inspection is an attic inspection. An attic inspection will give you a much more complete picture of the home’s condition.

When an attic inspection is performed, the inspector is primarily concerned with these five areas:

  • Insulation
  • Framing
  • Ventilation
  • Presence of pests

Insulation

Because insulation is exposed in the attic, this is the best place to evaluate the insulation. Good insulation is important to your home’s energy efficiency, helping it stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Without proper insulation, you can end up losing out on your energy bills. Insulation can reveal other things too, like signs of water damage or pest insulation.

With an attic inspection, you’ll know whether the insulation is adequate or if more needs to be added or if it needs to be replaced.

Framework

The attic is also the best place to get a picture of the condition of your home’s framework overall, and a better idea of the condition your roof is in. With an attic inspection, it’s especially good to find out if supporting trusses or rafters have any damage like stress cracks. It’s in the attic where an inspector can better tell if leaks are present, especially if there is sunlight shining through the roof. Dark or scorched rafters could indicate the home was damaged by a fire at some point. If furnaces are located in the attic the inspect can check for any damage or potential problems.

Ventilation

When a home has adequate ventilation it will remove moisture and heat from the home. Poor ventilation can lead to problems like heat build up in the attic, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer on hot summer days. When there is severe winter weather in the winter with ice and snow, a poor ventilation can cause icicles to form in the attic. Any kind of moisture build up in the attic or elsewhere can pose all sorts of problems from mold and mildew growth to leaks.

If you have a fireplace, make sure the inspector checks the chimney when inside the attic. Though the interior of the chimney can’t be checked in the attic, the chimney can can still show signs of wear and aging, such as cracks in the bricks or crumbling mortar.

Presence of pests

If during an attic inspection the inspector spots droppings or sees signs of nesting, the home has an animal or pest problem. From squirrels to raccoons, possums, mice and rats, animal of all types often get inside through the eaves or loose boards and take up residence in the attic. Any animals nesting in the attic can cause considerable damage. They can gnaw through insulation or chew up wiring, putting the home at risk of fire. Other pests such as termites can wreak havoc to wood. If there are signs of termites in the attic, a termite inspection throughout the house may be in order.

Make sure the attic is accessible for an attic inspection.

Accessibility

Of course, if you want to have an attic inspection, the attic needs to be readily accessible. An attic inspection may be something the buyer will have to negotiate with the seller. It’s advisable to get an attic inspection to catch any problems like those outlined above.

Attic inspections are just one service CKA Home Inspections LLC offers as part of a home inspection in Fort Worth, TX and surrounding cities. We also offer crawl space inspections, as well as termite inspections and pool inspections. We take home inspections seriously and always want to provide our clients with as complete and accurate of a report as possible. An attic inspection can help give you that complete picture.

If you are selling your home and want to make sure buyers get no surprises later on, you may want to consider a pre-listing inspection before you go to market. We can provide an attic inspection with your pre-listing inspection as well.

No matter what kind of inspection you receive from CKA Home Inspections LLC, we will provide you with a detailed, easy to read report, along with photos of trouble spots to help you assess problems and address them accordingly. We make sure to keep you updated and informed throughout the whole process. You can also expect a 24-hour turnaround on the inspection report.

Call Today to Make an Appointment

When you’re home buyer about to close on a home, make sure your home inspection includes an attic inspection for a complete picture of the condition of the home you’re buying. CKA Home Inspections LLC provides a comprehensive range of services including home inspections in Fort Worth, TX. To schedule an appointment with us call (817) 437-2397.