Termite mud tracking can be easy to notice if the house has adequately exposed concrete around the perimeter, such as the suggested 75mm by the Building Code of Australia.
Garden beds against the house slab can often hide the mud tracks, as can the garden vegetation itself.
The issue to understand is termites are attracted to damp moist timber and inadequate drainage away from the house can increase the chances of termites. Garden and lawn beds are watered for the plants health, however this too is simply attracting termites to the house.
Another interesting point is that soil types also change the amount of fall required for pathways around the house, with clay type soils requiring far greater fall away from the house, than sandy type soils. Unfortunately most DIY pathways are inadequately sloped away from the house. This is a great concern when concrete pathways are installed, often with no or little consideration for drainage allowances and can be a great expense to replace.
Termites however are happy to live in most soil types.
In most building and pest reports, this area of concern will be highlighted as a significant issue that needs rectification.
When researching a property prior to purchase, consider an additional expense such as removing paving and relaying if often not thought of. But then again neither is additional costs of replacing structural walls or flooring members.
I inspected a 9 year old home this week and found enough issues for the purchaser to pull out of the sale. This buyer had bothered with a building and pest inspection, you should seriously think about having one done too.
Below are some images of the mud tracking into the house and the Termatrac radar unit locating movement within the wall above the mud tracks. The Tramex moisture meter is at maximum damp readings here and all along the inside wall of the house when inspected.