Can You Get Termites in a New House? Discover the Shocking Truth!
russell from wa building inspections perth
  • Termites can infest new houses: Even newly constructed homes are vulnerable to termite invasions.
  • Regular professional termite inspections are crucial: Schedule regular termite inspections to catch and address issues early.

Imagine moving into your dream home, only to discover that it’s already occupied—by termites. It’s a scenario no new homeowner wants to face. But can you get termites in a new house? Understanding the risks and prevention methods is crucial to protecting your investment and maintaining peace of mind.



Understanding Termites

What Are Termites?

Termites are small, wood-eating insects that can cause significant damage to structures. They thrive in warm, moist environments and are often unseen until the damage is extensive.


Types of Termites

There are several types of termites, each with unique behaviours and habitat preferences. A short summary is below, but I recommend reading our detailed article about termites and termite inspection Perth for a deep dive.


Subterranean Termites

These termites live in the soil and build mud tubes to access above-ground wood. They’re the most destructive type due to their large colonies and constant foraging. These are the most common in Australia, and Perth.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites don’t require soil contact. They infest dry wood and can be transported through infested furniture or building materials.

Dampwood Termites

These termites prefer moist wood and are less likely to be found in homes but can still cause damage if there are moisture problems.



Can You Get Termites in a New House?

As you’ll see in my video above of a recent PCI inspection in Harrisdale, Perth, the answer is YES. Termites can infest new houses just as easily as older ones. Although we usually see termites in pre-existing houses during termite pre purchase inspections, it’s absolutely not uncommon that we see termites in brand new houses in Perth. The key factors that attract termites include moisture, wood in contact with soil, and any untreated or poorly treated wood.


How Do Termites Infest New Homes?

Construction Materials

Termites can be present in the building materials used during construction. If these materials are not treated for termites, the risk of infestation increases.


Soil and Termite Treatment Issues

If the soil treatment is not done properly before construction, or termite barriers such as termite collars are not installed correctly, subterranean termites can easily find their way into the new structure.


Environmental Factors

High moisture levels around the foundation, poor drainage, and landscaping that attracts termites can all contribute to an infestation.



Signs of Termite Infestation in New Homes

Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel between their colony and food sources. These tubes can often be found on foundation walls or other surfaces.


Discarded Wings

Termites swarm to start new colonies, and discarded wings near windows or doors can indicate their presence.


Hollow Wood

Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer of timber or paint. Tap on wood surfaces; if they sound hollow, it could be a sign of termites.



Drywood termites produce frass, a powdery substance that looks like sawdust. This can often be found near infested wood.



Preventing Termite Infestations in New Homes

Pre-Construction Treatments

Ensure the soil is treated with a termiticide before construction begins. This creates a barrier that termites cannot cross.

Learn more about pre-construction treatments and their importance.


Using Treated Materials

Use termite-resistant materials or treated wood in construction. This can significantly reduce the risk of infestation.


Regular Inspections

Regular inspections by a professional building inspector can help detect termites early and prevent severe damage.


Maintain Proper Drainage

Ensure that water drains away from your home’s foundation. Termites are attracted to moisture, so reducing moisture around your home can deter them.


Reduce Wood-to-Soil Contact

Avoid placing wooden structures like decks and steps directly on the soil. Use concrete bases to keep wood off the ground.



What to Do If You Find Termites in Your New Home

Professional Inspection

If you suspect termites, immediately contact a professional for a thorough inspection. WA Building Inspections Perth offers comprehensive inspections to identify and address termite issues.


Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of the infestation, treatment options may include chemical treatments, bait systems, or fumigation.


Repairing Damage

After treating the infestation, repair any damaged wood to restore the structural integrity of your home.



The Importance of Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are crucial in maintaining the health of your home. Building and pest inspections can identify early signs of termites and other issues, allowing you to address them before they become severe.

Another Example: Shocking Termite Secrets Uncovered in Nedlands

In a recent inspection in Nedlands, our team uncovered severe termite damage in a new home. This case highlights the importance of regular, thorough inspections. Read more about this shocking termite discovery.

My Final Say

Termites can indeed infest new houses, but with proper precautions and regular inspections, you can protect your home from these destructive pests. Remember, early detection and treatment are key to preventing extensive damage.


1. Can termites be present in new construction materials?

Yes, termites can be present in untreated construction materials. Always use treated wood and materials to reduce the risk.


2. How often should I have my new home inspected for termites?

It’s recommended to have your home inspected annually. Regular inspections help in early detection and prevention of infestations.


3. What does termite damage look like?

Look for mud tubes, discarded wings, hollow-sounding wood, and frass. These are common indicators of termite activity.


4. Can termites cause damage quickly?

Yes, termites can cause significant damage in a short period. Early detection and treatment are crucial.


5. What should I do if I find termites in my new home?

Termite inspections are a crucial part of maintaining your new home and ensuring it remains free from these destructive pests. If you’re in the Perth area, our team at WA Building Inspections Perth offers comprehensive termite inspections to safeguard your investment. For residents in the Rockingham to Mandurah region, WA Building Inspections Rockingham to Mandurah provides expert services tailored to your needs. Additionally, homeowners in Midland can rely on the experienced professionals at WA Building Inspections Midland to thoroughly inspect and protect their properties from termite damage.