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Thread: Termites?

  1. #1
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    Default Termites?

    Found these mud tubes yesterday, hanging from the fascia boards... little hole under and probed to find damage but nothing active. The place was painted in the last month, so I know this wasn't here long. Termites already swarmed??

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Termites?

    No not already, If there are Termites up in the Fascia they have been there for a long time, there is a serious infestation and the wall framing may be F'd
    The Mud tubes are built from soil under the house.
    And they don't dgo all the way up there for the view.
    You are talking about Fascia, like behind the gutter, in front of the soffit. Up near the roof?

    They painted over everything trying to hide it. Any house painted prior to listing is suspect for all kinds of hidden damage in my book.

    Nice Tubes though, those are some creative varmints


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Termites?

    The tubes in the first photo do look like swarmer castles, if I remember the terminology correctly from when I was CPCO.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Yes, swarmer tubes, but, that does mean the colony is working behind.

    Termite Castle Swarmer Video by Dallas Home Inspection 214-960-1005 - YouTube

    And I thought they were just expressing themselves


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Termite tunnels yes. Swarmers yes. A colony generally has to be in existance two or more years to swarm. This is indeed the swarm season. Coming home to find thousands of insects flying around your kitchen can be very scary for a homeowner but they should not panic. Many of the larger pest control companies use scare tactics to sell termite treatments. People should be aware that they have time to make an informed decision as to what to do and who to do it.
    Having said that this is what is going on here. Termites build swarm castles to swarm from. When the temp and humidity get just right they swarm out and mate. They remove each others wings and go into the ground to mate. This is called the Royal Cell. A queen only has to be fertilized once and she lays fertile eggs her whole lifetime.(25 to 30 years) The damage is done by workers deep into the wooden members of the structure.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Thanks to all!


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Termites? (Wylie Texas)

    When you see Mud tubes that high up on the wall, you can almost bet the entire wall is eaten up. Check out these photos of mud tubes from last week in Wylie Texas. Similar to yours. There was nothing left of the wall structure. When the termite inspector broke open a tube, you could see the little critters in there. 3rd worst infestation I have ever seen. The infestation went 12 feet horizontal and to the rafters.

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  8. #8
    Richard Adams's Avatar
    Richard Adams Guest

    Default Re: Termites?

    Swarmed here (east Dallas area) 2 weeks ago. Early swarming this year.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Iím curious, in all my years in the construction industry I have never heard of a house structure collapse do to termites, as I get older I might have a slight memory loss, but I canít recall any. I know they are destructive and can cause havoc. Iíve come across where the roof were sagging, wall were flimsy, and flooring felt soft, but that was about it.


  10. #10
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
    mike huntzinger Guest

    Default Re: Termites?

    we had a termite inspector DIE because of a a collapse of a portch deck, but not shure if termites or dry rot.

    i was under an older home last week where the floor beam was eaten where the foundation and wood beam contact, causing the beam to slowly sag the floor above


  11. #11
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Termites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Rowden View Post
    Iím curious, in all my years in the construction industry I have never heard of a house structure collapse do to termites, as I get older I might have a slight memory loss, but I canít recall any. I know they are destructive and can cause havoc. Iíve come across where the roof were sagging, wall were flimsy, and flooring felt soft, but that was about it.
    I cannot say I know of a whole house collapse, but lots of plumbing fixture area floor collapses. First the leak & moisture then critter invasion, ( termites, moisture ants, carpenter ants, "organic biological growth" etc. ). I've also seen some pretty bad structural members under older homes & happy to say I did not witness their collapse. Sooo, if a man speaks alone in the woods and a woman is not there to hear him, is he still wrong ?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Jim,
    That first pic is awesome. Could I use you photo, I promise to credit you.

    I have heard one of the reason they do this is because they are not very good fliers and the castles help them gain a little elevation. I have seen these in the crawlspace.

    Also like many said here they have been there a while of they are that far up.

    Little story I know one inspector who missed some evidence in a upper window sill (like 10 feet up, easy miss), the whole front of the home was gone, structurally compromised to the tune of 30 g's.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Don- you are welcome to use the photo.

    Richard and Gene, so far in the last month I have found them in Plano, Rockwall, Wylie, Irving and now in Mesquite. It has been a bad season for sure. This was the first time I had seen castles like these, that was why I questioned myself.

    The guys at the Pest Control company sent the pic off to A&M to make sure, since the mud was such an odd color.

    Thanks again to all!

    Jim Adams
    Made to Last


  14. #14
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    michigan
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    Default Re: Termites?

    My ex must of been swarming cause she had crabs that looked just like the first picture


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Bob, very funny.

    I had a buddy that received a good dose of the little critters. I grabbed a sample on some scotch tap and put it under a microscope. Them dang things are just nasty.

    Now I am reliving that moment

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  16. #16
    Scott Kight, ACE's Avatar
    Scott Kight, ACE Guest

    Default Re: Termites?

    Looks like a great pic of a swarm castle. I have seen them get that high up and not do significant structural damage. By the same token, I have seen them not get high up and cause $40K plus in damage. Depends on the type of subterranean termite that made the tube.

    One of the posts was correct in that nature has programed them the get some elevation in order to better disperse into the breeze as they are not real good flyers. We are starting to find out that some species are better flyers than was once thought.

    I also agree that many of the larger PC companies use scare tactics but the reality is that subterranean termites can do significant damage. In our area (the northwest Florida area) we have a good dose of the Formosan termite. I have been around pest control for over 25 years and yet the damage they cause makes me stand back and scratch my head in amazment. Claims run from a small $3K up to in excess of $130K caused by them eating away.

    Can I use the pics? I do presentations to homeowner groups and would like to add it to my presentation. Will give you credit.


  17. #17
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    Texas
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Any and all are welcome to the pics. Send me an email and I will send you some others. I think I still have the original size files.

    Jim@madetolastinspections.com


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Auckland
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    Default Re: Termites?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    No not already, If there are Termites and White ants in Sydney up in the Fascia they have been there for a long time, there is a serious infestation and the wall framing may be F'd
    The Mud tubes are built from soil under the house.
    And they don't dgo all the way up there for the view.
    You are talking about Fascia, like behind the gutter, in front of the soffit. Up near the roof?

    They painted over everything trying to hide it. Any house painted prior to listing is suspect for all kinds of hidden damage in my book.

    Nice Tubes though, those are some creative varmints
    Termites must be cleared entirely from the home and pest inspection should be done in every 6 months period.


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