An inspection report came back Saturday with “Visible evidence of wood-destroying insects were observed.”

The visible evidence was, “subterranean termite shelter tube stains.”

Stains! They didn’t even see any of those dried mud shelter tubes? Just stains?

As is very often the case when evidence of termites is found, the inspection also said that, “Visible evidence of previous treatment was observed.”

That means the inspector could see where holes were drilled into the foundation to pump insecticide under the slab during the previous treatment.

There is no way of knowing how old the shelter tube “stains” are. I’m guessing they are pretty dang old if there were no visible shelter tubes, just “stains.” I’m guessing there is a dang good possibility that those “stains” were there BEFORE the previous treatment and there are no active termites currently.

I don’t really mind. I represent the buyers and we’ve requested that the seller treat for termites. I’m not a termite expert. We have to go with the opinion of the experts.

Termites are common in Arizona. They say if you don’t have termites, you will. Fortunately, they are not very aggressive.

Unnecessary use of insecticides

Nevertheless, I think there are way too many homes being treated for termites that don’t have a termite problem. They HAD a termite problem. It was treated. The problem was solved.

But now every time those homes are inspected the old “visible evidence” from years ago triggers the termite inspector to check “Yes” to “Visible evidence of wood-destroying insects were observed.”

Termite Scam?

I first got hip to this scam a few years ago when a termite inspector showed me the termite mud shelter tube on an exterior block wall. That home too had been previously treated only 2 years earlier.

I asked that termite inspector how he knew that tube was not already there before the termite treatment 2 years earlier. He didn’t know. He couldn’t know. He thought the tube looked like it could be old but he didn’t know. Since he saw it, he had to mark it down as “Visible evidence.”

Fine. Be on the safe side.

So I asked the termite guy if he would remove that single shelter tube after the home was treated. That way the old tube wouldn’t cause a termite inspector in the future to mistakenly believe the tube was caused by currently active termites.

He said, “No.” He would not remove the termite shelter tube after treatment.