Termites: What They Are, What They Do, and How to Spot Them

Tom Kleinschnitz, our termite expert from American Home Services, tells us that there is one thing that everyone seems to know about the pests: Termites eat wood… ferociously. Anti-termite efforts constitute a billion-dollar industry in America, so if you’re having a home inspection done, be sure that a termite inspection is included. That way, you’ll know whether or not that property suffers from termite damage; you don’t want to take on an expensive repair project without warning!

Second, there are two different types of termites: subterranean and dry wood termites. Subterranean termites live in the ground, then they come up into your home from their nests to forage around for wet materials to consume, often those containing cellulose. This includes wood, drywall, and paper.

Dry wood termites tend to fly into homes, and they have a preference for eating hardwood. These are typically found in older buildings.

So how can you tell if there are termites present in a home? According to Tom, there are several ways, but the most common is to simply look for signs. Using just your eyes (and maybe a flashlight), look out for gallery damage and exit holes.

Termites are easy to kill, and the damage they cause takes a long time to become extensive.


For those unfamiliar, termites are tiny, whitish bugs that are usually about a quarter of an inch long, depending on the species. Like bees and ants, termites colonies have both workers and soldiers. Soldiers are larger than the workers; they have big, reddish heads and large, black mandibles—sort of like a carpenter ant, though with a lighter-colored body. The soldiers’ purpose is to protect the colony, which they do very well. Some termite soldiers can even spray a sticky, noxious substance to entrap enemies of the colony.

If you think your property might have termites, Tom encourages you not to panic. Termites are easy to kill, and the damage they cause takes a long time to become extensive. Termites can be present in your home for as long as five years before you’ll even see any signs of their activity.

Since pest treatments have developed so well over time, the presence of termites shouldn’t be seen necessarily as a deal-breaker for homebuyers. Though he and American Home services won’t know the extent of termite damage unless the drywall is removed to inspect the interior wood, even if there is minor damage, that home can still be considered a good sale; once the home has been treated, you should be good to go.

Tom really knows his termites. When American Home Services does an inspection and finds evidence of termites, they offer a discount to the clients, the treatment to exterminate the pest, as well as a warranty on the home.

If you’re interested in utilizing their services, either for a home inspection or pest control, visit their website or call (352) 394-7408.

As always, if you have any questions or real estate needs, remember www.BrandieSells.com.

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