Ask an Inspector – Termites

There’s an old saying in Kansas City: “There are two types of homes: homes that have termites and homes that will get termites.” While not very encouraging to new home owners, it’s true. We live in an area of robust termite activity. Why? Because we have a species known as eastern subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes) that live underground, allowing them to survive the cold and wintery seasons. Termite Shelter TubesThey tend to be extremely active in the early spring and summer. So what do you look for, especially during those seasons? Simple: shelter tubes. Termites are very sensitive to humidity, so they build little mud tunnels that allow them to move from location to location. Smart, huh? Here’s a photo of those tunnels. You tend to find them near the front porch, at the garage entry and inside the garage walls. If you see one, don’t panic, but don’t hesitate: contact a good pest control company to come to the rescue. It’s far less expensive to treat before they set up camp than afterward.


In the next issue, we’ll talk about how to tell the difference between a termite and an ant. They look quite a bit alike, but are different insects all together. We’ll also briefly examine how to spot other wood destroying insects in this area: carpenter bees and wood beetles. Sounds fun, don’t you think? Until then, happy hunting!

-Robert Ladd
Legacy Home Inspections