Don’t Let Termites Stop the Sale of Your Home

Prepping for a home sale is a huge undertaking. Hiring a real estate agent, preparing property to appeal to future buyers, and making sure all legal ducks are in a row is rarely an easy process. Most homeowners are aware of inspection rules and requirements during the home sales process, but not all homeowners are familiar with termite inspections. As termites pose great threats in many regions of the state, it’s important to prepare before putting up a For Sale sign. What Is a Termite Inspection? A termite inspection is a form of home inspection that focuses specifically on signs of termite activity. While a general home inspector may keep an eye out for major indicators of an issue, a termite inspection is a far more detailed examination. Termite inspectors will look for both obvious and subtle signs of wood-damaging insects, including: Evidence of mud tubes used by subterranean termite species Wood that is soft or sounds hollow when tapped Blistered spots on paint or wood Unexplained dark staining or spots on wood Presence of discarded termite wings and piles of droppings, which may look like sawdust from a distance If an inspector notices any of these common indications of termite activity, they will present a treatment plan to address prior to listing a home. In almost all instances, termites will need to be addressed before a property can transfer ownership – and most buyers will be uninterested in buying a home with known termite damage. How a Termite Inspection Can Halt a Home Sale If you put your house up for sale without paying attention to potential termite...

How Quickly Can Termites Eat Wood?

As most homeowners know, nothing can pose danger to a home quite like termites. Fast, insidious, and highly problematic if left unchecked, termites are a nightmare scenario for millions of property owners across California. However, knowing that termites eat quickly isn’t the same as knowing average consumption rates and what kind of damage to expect over time. It’s easy to miss the signs of termites, and easy to allow the problem to spiral out of hand – particularly when homeowners assume termites move far slower than they actually do. By knowing how fast each major variety of termite destroys wood, it’s possible to craft the perfect plan of attack. Termites in California Since the word “termite” is frequently used as a catch-all term for wood-damaging insects, many homeowners don’t know that there are multiple varieties of termite. Climate and average temperature can play a role, but some regions in the state are vulnerable to more than one type of termite. The three most common forms of termite in California include: Formosan Subterranean Termites: As the name implies, these termites operate primarily underground. Their swarms are large and their initial presence is invisible, so it’s very possible for these termites to cause structural damage before anyone is the wiser. These termites are attracted to moisture and are most common in warm, damp areas. Drywood Termites: Unlike Formosan termites, which are attracted to moisture, drywood termites are most active in dry climates. They are particularly dangerous in the fall and spring, when the climate is temperate. These termites are larger and move slower than other forms of termites. Cedar is toxic to drywood...

Fall 2021 Termite Tips

No one likes termites. These insect invaders can wreak havoc on homes, causing significant damage. If ignored for too long, termite troubles can cost potentially thousands of dollars to repair. Rather than letting your home fall victim to termites, it’s important to take the proper precautions before the commencement of termite season. As termites prefer intermediary temperatures – not too hot and not too cold – this often means they are most active in the spring or fall. These Fall 2021 termite tips can help you keep your home safe from the damage of these dangerous bugs before too much trouble comes to pass. Learn the Signs Termite rarely announce their arrival. As such, it’s important for you as a homeowner to understand the common signs of termite activity. Interpreting signs will depend on the place in the home, whether inside or outside, and the severity of the termite problem. Some common indications of termite damage include: Drywall that is sagging or discolored Peeling paint similar to water-damaged paint Hollow-sounding wood Holes in drywood that look like pinpricks Wood or laminate floors that look or feel buckled Loosened tiles in kitchen or bathroom areas Floorboards that squeak more than usual Wood, anywhere in the home, that is crumbling or appears damaged Windows or doors that stick or won’t close properly Patterns in furniture, on walls, or on floors that look maze-like Scale-like wings left behind after termite swarms Swarms of flying termites anywhere on property Keep regular watch for these kinds of signs throughout the year, particularly during termite seasons. If you suspect termites but aren’t sure, it’s still...

Where Termites Live in California

Termites are a problem from coast to coast and that includes California. Much of the state of California is subject to potential damage from termites, from warm and sunny Los Angeles to cooler climates in the North. The warm, humid climate in some areas of California and the dry conditions elsewhere appeal to various kinds of termite species. Living in ignorance is no way to fight back against termite damage, so it’s important for homeowners throughout the state to understand what termites are, where they can be found, and how to look for signs of damage. What Are Termites? Termites are insects that feed on cellulose, a common component in wood. While rather innocuous looking, these bugs can be devastating for homeowners. By feeding on wood siding, walls, flooring, foundation elements, and furniture, termites can do costly and extensive damage to homes. Termites cause an estimated five billion dollars in damages in the United States on an annual basis. Several different kinds of termites exist within each colony. Worker termites make up the majority of termites in a swarm and are wingless with soft bodies. They generally forage for food and maintain colony structure. Soldier termites are generally larger and protect the colony from predators, while reproducers are winged and handle procreation using the queen’s eggs. The queen termite is the largest insect in a colony; her role is to lay thousands of eggs to grow the colony. There are multiple different varieties of termite, each with its own unique characteristics. Not all termites are active in all climates and the signs of termite damage can vary from one...

I Have a Rat in My Backyard. What Can I Do?

Your first instinct may be to cringe if you see a rat in your backyard. No one wants a rodent that can wreak havoc on the interior and exterior of your home. If rats or other rodents are present in or around your home, you will notice a strong, distinct urine smell and holes and chew marks on many of your belongings. If you have pets, their behavior may change because they see these rodents when you don’t, often at night. During the fall is when you will notice an increase of rats and other rodents. If you find rats and other unwanted guests in your backyard or your home, take these steps to get rid of them and keep them from coming back. Tidy Up The first step you need to take to get rid of rats is to clean up. Having piles of wood and leaves spread across your yard is the perfect playground for mice. Mice can hide in piles of junk without being detected, which is why it may take a while for you to notice them. Make sure you keep up with regular yard maintenance such as cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and getting rid of any foliage that provides a cozy hiding spot for these pests. If you compost, these materials need to be kept as far away from your home as possible in a sealed, plastic container. Getting Rid of the Food Source Aside from wanting a warm place to protect them from the outside elements during the winter, rats are also on the hunt for food. Leaving food out is an invitation...

Essential Tips for Termite Prevention in California

As they say, your home is your castle, and one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Being a resident of the Golden State allows you to enjoy surfing, the beach, and a variety of popular landmarks, such as Yosemite National Park and Universal Studios Hollywood. The other aspect of being a resident of California are  pests, such as termites. Finding pets in your home is never a good feeling. Termites damage your home and can cause expensive repairs, to the tune of billions of dollars to homes every year. The damage caused by termites can lead to a home that is unsafe to live in. Use these essential tips to help you prevent a termite infestation in your California home. Pay Attention to Building Materials If your home’s foundation contains wooden parts, they should be kept at least six inches away from the soil. Wood is a delicacy for termites. Putting wood next to soil gives termites a path of entry into your home. Make sure you leave ventilation between the soil and the wood part of your home’s foundation. Eliminate Moisture Eliminating moisture from areas in your home deters termites because they need moisture to thrive. Make sure there are no leaky faucets or pipes in your home that will attract termites. Once termites are attracted to an area in your home, they will create a nest and begin reproducing. Termites are underground dwellers who feed on wood surfaces, but rotting boards of wood are more than enough to attract hundreds of termites. To prevent termites from entering your home through the soft boards in...