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How to check for termites species around your home

When it comes to termites in a building, they can make or break a real estate deal. If you're in the market to purchase a new property, you definitely don't want to accidentally buy one with a termite problem.

There are some kinds of termites that are worse than others. We've created a list of the most concerning members of this family of insects to help you identify problems before you make a major purchasing mistake.

Dampwood termites: These termites like damp wood. Those properties with a dampwood termite problem also tend to have a problem with leaky plumbing or leaky roofs. They tend to be .5 to 1 inches long. They're brownish to reddish brown in color. They live in small colonies and have both wings and antennae. The best way to keep them away is to make sure that there isn't any wet wood in a building.

Drywood termites: Unlike dampwood termites, these termites thrive on dry wood, wallpaper, fabrics and plastics. These create some of the most costly infestations to repair, because they live in large colonies and weaken the wooden structures of a building.

They tend to be three-eighths of an inch long, have wings and antennae and are either light brown or sometimes white or translucent. One colony may have 3,000 termites in it, and the colonies may be built inside the dry wood of a building. The best way to keep them out of a property is to not store firewood around buildings and to always seal the cracks around the outer part of a building.

Formosan termites: These are the most aggressive termites. Like dampwood termites, they love wet wood. They'll eat right through your wood, wallpaper, siding and flooring. They're very hard to remove from a home and can topple a building within seven months.

These little buggers have eaten through telephone and electric lines, causing power outages. They tend to be .5 inches long and white or yellowish brown in color. They also have wings and antennae. They can have underground colonies that grow to contain as many as 400,000 termites. The best way to keep them at bay is to keep all the wood around your building dry.

Are you worried about a termite problem relating to a recent real estate purchase? Be sure to investigate your legal rights and options and the various legal approaches you can take to resolve the issue.

Source: Science Trends, "Have Termites? Here’s What Termites Look Like," Kate Broome, accessed April 13, 2018

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