How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
If termite damage appears old, are termites gone?
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
One of the questions that realtors sometimes ask us when we find termite damage in a home is: “Does it look like old damage?” The implication, of course, is that possibly the termites are long gone and there’s nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, there is no way to age termite damage. Termite fecal pellets, which are considered evidence of termites in the home, also cannot be aged.
According to a representative at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) we spoke to a few days ago, “Damage is damage and evidence is evidence. That’s all.” There is no place on their required reporting form to guess how long damage or evidence has been sitting there. If we find it, we have to report it.
Because WDO/termite inspectors are also supposed to report any evidence of previous treatments to the home, such as drill holes indicative of a soil treatment or a treatment sticker by a pest control company, the previous treatment evidence—if it can be determined that it is recent—may mean that the inspector is looking at unrepaired damage, but the termites have been killed. Once again, we have no way to know for sure. We simply report termite evidence and damage, and note any sign of previous treatments.
Also, see our blog post Does a recent termite company inspection sticker mean there are no termites?
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