How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Should I be worried about termites if my neighbor's house is being tented?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Termites Attack From Two Directions
There are two types of termites, subterranean and drywood. The first type live in the ground and only come up into a house to feed on your wood. They are eliminated with chemical treatments in the soil or bait traps set in the ground encircling a house. So tenting is not an indication of subterranean termites in the house next door.
Drywood termites are the second type, and do not require contact with the ground and can live in the wood walls, attic, or even the furniture of your home. Any significant infestation requires tenting of the home. A poisonous gas is pumped into the tent and it kills everything living inside the tent—including roaches, bed bugs, and any other insects, along with lizards, mice, and rats. Although fumigation is most often used for drywood termites, it might have been used at your neighbor’s house to eliminate some other type of pest. There is no residual protection after the tenting.
The Annual Swarming Season
Winged drywood termites fly out into the open to establish new colonies in the early evening, each year from April to July. It’s called swarming season and, if the the existing colony is large, the swarm can be thousands. Young queens are escorted by multiple males and, since they are poor fliers, the newbies don’t land too far away unless a strong wind carries them. Infestations tend to travel house-to-house, and are more common in older neighborhoods.
This means that, unless the home nearby was being tented for another type of pest, drywood termites being exterminated nearby means there is a higher likelihood of infestation of your home. And an inspection by a Florida-certified pest control operator is always a good idea if you haven’t had one recently.
Did You Really See A Termite?
If you think you saw a termite in the your house, see our blog post What does a termite look like? to verify it. Termites are almost never seen walking around in the open, except when swarming.
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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:
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