Pascagoula Homeowners Learn Termite Lesson The Hard Way

"When we moved in the house it looked real nice inside," Pascagoula homeowner Tammy Haley says.

That's why first-time buyers Tammy and Shawn Haley say they didn't think to get a termite inspection for the Pascagoula home they bought 11 months ago.

"No wall damage, no wood damage, every thing was just perfect," says Shawn Payne.

But after Katrina hit, the Haleys found out their perfect home had some major problems.

"We started gutting the house out and come to find we had termites."

The Haleys say by the time they realized the problem, the pests had already done their damage, eating through many of the bedrooms, kitchen, and living room walls.

"Termites ate up all of my wall, and it is all decayed and falling apart."

The infestation is so bad in the home, the family says the roof is now starting to collapse.

"My ceiling is coming down because the termites that got up top of my attic ate most of the wood up there."

Now they want to warn other first time home buyers to learn from their mistake.

"When you buy something, you really have to take your time. Please go out and get a termite inspection so you will not be like us."

The Haleys say they have applied for an SBA Loan and Home Owner Grant to help fix their home.