How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What does a termite mud tube look like?
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Subterranean termites can be hard to detect, even when a house has a significant infestation. They become dehydrated quickly by exposure to air, so they crawl up into a house protected inside tiny tubes the workers construct from dirt, feces, and their own saliva; which are called, obviously enough, mud tubes. Shown above is a cluster of mud tubes we found a few years ago, where the termites were coming up through a crack in the garage floor and climbing up the step, searching for wood above. They didn’t find it here, but termites keep probing until they find wood.
Usually, though, you will just see a solitary mud tube, like a thin gray vein rising up the wall, like in the photo below.
Here’s another mud tube above a kitchen cabinet. Part of it has been wiped away, but the residue of the tube remain embedded in the drywall surface.
And sometimes, when they really get going, it looks more like a termite expressway.
Also, see our blog posts When do termites swarm in Florida? and Does a recent termite company inspection sticker mean there are no termites? and I think I have termites. What does a termite look like?
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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:
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