Is termite inspection necessary? Does it have any benefits? What does the inspection report look like? These questions and many others are often asked by property owners.
First, we’ll start by saying termite inspections are a necessity for any home owner. It doesn’t matter if you will inspect the property yourself or hire a professional.
Any option selected is vital to the safety of your property.
- Is there a Need to Call in the Experts When I can inspect my Property Myself?
It all depends on your level of experience and expertise. If you have an understanding of how termites behave, then you may not need to call in an expert. However, if you have doubts about your ability to clearly identify an infestation problem, then calling it in may be your best bet.
How Vital are Termite Inspections?
Should I get a termite inspection? In the United States alone, termites cause an estimated $60 billion in damages per annum. This is huge and scary as well. When people call experts to Inspect their properties for termite infestation, the damage in most cases have been inflicted. This is because termites are mostly subterranean insects. They only surface or leave symptoms in their wake after they must have caused significant damage.
What Signs are Termite Inspectors looking for?
How do you inspect a house for termites? Whenever you call for a termite inspection, there are definite signs experienced technicians are on the lookout for. This section will discuss some of the items that should be included in a termite inspection report.
We begin with the following;
What to Expect During Termite Inspection
Winged Termites / Alate
Sexually mature termites are produced from established termite colonies. These winged termites are also known as Alates. These are released from the main colony and embark on their maiden flight to establish their own nests. Whenever Inspectors see Alates around, it’s a sign that you may have a developing termite problem.
In the absence of live winged Alates, their wings are strewn about. Pest technicians are able to identify this situation to mean that there’s likely to be a termite ongoing. The advantage of the findings of this termite inspection is that early treatment can be started as there little or no damage done yet.
Concrete Construction Joints Containing Mud
Termites are dedicated builders. These pests would make an attempt to make or create a nest from the smallest cracks available. Thus during an inspection, technicians look out for mud dirt in between cracks. Wherever these may be found, it is a clear sign that there’s termite presence in such areas(s). Upon sighting such, further probe is conducted to know the extent or size of the nest to know the best treatment to apply.
Mud Tubes or Passageways
This is another evidence of termite presence. Termite inspections undertaken by pest technicians are on the lookout for possible signs of new termite nests including this. If you spot this anywhere around your home, you need to immediately contact a reliable pest control service. During an inspection, this can be found anywhere around your property.
Breaking open this mud pipe or passageway is likely to reveal termites busy carrying out their destructive activities. These mud pipes can be found on tree trunks, the side of buildings, exposed wood etc. Such pipes provide protection against dehydration.
Damage to Wood
This is the primary target of termites. They obtain cellulose from wood. When termites cause damage to wood, it is not quite evident on the outside. However a likely symptom includes droppings in pelletized form. When conducting a termite inspection, the technician checks for this as well as tapping such wood to find out if there’s a hollow within.
In many instances, the damage would have been inflicted before the problem is identified or noticed.
Stored Logs of Wood
Termite inspection covers a lot of things including inspecting your surroundings for signs of logs of wood. These are likely to attract termites. If termites are found, the inspection will seek to ascertain the level of infestation with a view to finding a lasting solution or treatment.
Cracks on Wall and Bubbling Paint
A property overtaken by termites is likely to show cracks on the walls as well as bubbling paint. The cracks will not look unnatural. Unnatural in the sense that it will not seem to have resulted from a defective foundation
How Frequent Should a Termite Inspection be done?
The frequency of a termite inspection depends on multiple factors. Some of these include how infested your neighborhood or location is.
Here is the recommended termite inspection frequency:
Certain locations are known to be more infested with termites than others. In such locations, inspection can be organised quarterly or twice a year. These would come with immediate treatment when infestation is noticed.
For less infested areas, termite inspection can be conducted once every year depending on your needs as well as well as from advice received from your pest technician.
How to Conduct a Termite Inspection
Most of our discussion has been centered around what experienced technicians look out for. You can also use these to gain critical insight. Let’s now turn our focus to how you can conduct a basic termite inspection. In trying to find out if your property is being overrun by termites, you might as well be ready to crawl into hard to reach areas in a bid to carry out a thorough inspection.
First, you need some basic tools to begin with. These include a coverall or protective garment. This ensures you don’t soil your clothes.
Other tools include a screwdriver or any object with a pointed tip and a torchlight. How do you use these? Termites are known to feed on wood from the inside out. This creates a hollow within the wood. You need to poke such wood to find out if it is weakened.
Using Your Tools
You need to carefully follow every wood to find out if there are signs of termite droppings. Light from your torch enables you to see clearly if there are signs of termite activity. The screwdriver or knife is used to feel if any part of the wood is soft. A soft wood indicates that termites have been busy. Based on your Inspection findings you decide the next course of action.
Where to Look
Where to focus your attention also matters to how much success is achieved. If your property has a basement, you should consider conducting a thorough inspection. This is especially true when there are wooden constructions there.
Wherever wood makes contact with concrete, you should pay attention to such areas. These are likely to harbor termites.
As a matter of fact, every untreated wood is potentially a hideout for termites.
After Termite Inspection what Next?
An inspection seeks to ascertain whether your property is free from termites or not. For more reliable protection from these pests, it is best to schedule an inspection calendar. Based on the findings of your Inspection, you will need to apply treatment if there’s an existing infestation or carry out preventive treatment to forestall such problems.
There are several ways to exterminate termites. These include the use of natural treatments and as well as chemical treatments. Because this article is focused on discussing termite inspection, we will not get into details. However it will be fair to make brief mention of some extermination measures.
Termites can be eliminated through predatory treatments such as the use of nematodes. These pose no danger whatsoever to humans and pets. Yet it is highly effective on termites. These feed on the pests and eliminate them in no time at all.
Other treatment methods include the use of damp cardboard strips. Termites love to feed on these. Once they start, you can simply take it out to burn them or expose them to direct sunlight. They hardly survive this.
Other methods of termite extermination include creating a barrier around your property. This is done by spraying or applying any pesticides of your choice. This poisons them and has a far reaching effect and exterminates them eventually.
The Best Strategies for Arresting Termite Infestation
To save yourself the time and energy used in combating termite infestation, the best strategy is to by strictly implementing preventive treatment. This will include carrying out constant supervision around your property, applying chemicals and other treatments to discourage a build up.
In addition, all cracks and holes no matter how small should be well sealed. By scheduling or creating an inspection calendar, you are alerted early enough to dangerous build-up of termites.
Termite inspection has been the subject of our discussion. We have covered several aspects of this talking point by identifying the signs pest technicians are most interested in. These can be used by you to gain greater insights into how termites behave.
Termite inspection is crucial to preventing heavy losses which can be inflicted by these pests. If due diligence is not followed, these tiny pests will wreak so much havoc to your property. This is unacceptable.
To avoid such, it is best to seek expert advice and help in identifying your problems and finding a lasting solution to this them. The average termite inspection cost between $60 – $100 per visit.