While everyone should learn the truth behind termite myths to better prepare for dealing with these pests, home buyers are particularly affected when they act on myths rather than facts. A pest with the ability to damage an entire structure is definitely frightening, but that doesn't mean you should instantly reject every home with any sign of termites. Sort the myths from the facts to be a more informed shopper when considering which home to buy next.
Homes with Termites are Automatically Worthless
Just because an inspector finds termites crawling around or piles of sawdust doesn't mean the home should be condemned and demolished. You need an in-depth inspection from an experienced home inspector who specializes in assessing termite infestations to find out the extent of the damage. You might be surprised to find there's only a single nest in the structure that is easily accessible. If a pest problem only takes $1000 to fix completely and permanently, you shouldn't pass over the house if it meets all your other needs. Since the seller usually pays for the repairs and there are plenty of reliable preventives to keep the bugs from coming back, it's possible to save a home that doesn't have serious structural damage yet.
Some Houses are Immune to Termites Due to Materials
You can find plenty of homeowners and real estate agents that spread the myth around that homes made from brick, or with a high concrete foundation, are immune to termites. A home does not have to include wood touching the ground in order to attract the insects, and almost all brick and stone homes still include wood framing on the inside. Termites are happy to crawl over non-edible materials to reach the wood they need for nesting or squeeze through tiny cracks in concrete and brick, so you need a thorough inspection no matter what kind of structure you're considering.
You Can Feed Termites to Keep Them Away
Some home buyers assume that it's safe to buy a home on a wooded lot or a house surrounded by beds of deep mulch because sources of rotting wood lure termites away from the home. However, termites flock to the property to eat the outdoor wood, which inflates their population as they lay more eggs. Then, they head into the house to start munching on the structure. You can't guess when the termites will decide to move from their outdoor nests to your newly purchased home either. In fact, you need to check properties even more thoroughly if they have a lot of wood around the exterior since there's a higher chance of an infestation.
Homes with Termite Histories are Never Safe Again
In many states, sellers must disclose any previous treatments administered by a pest control company for termites and other wood-boring insects. Receiving this notification can make you think the house will always be prone to infestation, but this isn't necessarily true. If the seller provides records showing how the home was treated and is now protected by a preventative chemical barrier, you can feel safe about making the purchase as long as an inspection proves the house is currently pest-free. Of course, you also need to find out what professional repairs were made to the damaged parts of the home to make sure the previous infestations didn't leave the structure unsafe.
Only Houses in Hot Climates Get Termites
While it's true that warm climates help termites reproduce and spread faster, 49 states are known to have active termite populations. This includes Hawaii. Cold winters and feet of snow won't stop these voracious eaters from finding new places to hide. Even if there has never been a confirmed report of termites in the area where you're shopping for a home, you can't gamble with such a serious problem. For more information, get a professional inspection from a termite specialist no matter where you are, unless you're buying a home in Alaska.