Termite Inspections Reveal Infestations

Termites are wood eating insects.  While they can be beneficial in nature, helping to break down trees, they can do serious and costly damage to your home.  A termite inspection can help protect your home from damage or identify that which needs to be repaired.  An inspection before purchasing a house can save you untold expense, and an inspection in a house you already own can help protect or defend your house from further termite problems.

After scheduling an inspection, a termite inspector will come to your home and make a full visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the property, including the attic and basement, if applicable.  The inspector will be looking for evidence of termite infestation such as dropped wings, mud tunnels, wood damage, or even live termites, and will also be looking for other wood destroying pests.  The inspection will usually take under an hour, and after the inspection the homeowner should be provided with a report of the findings of the inspection.

Hopefully your inspector will see no problematic evidence, but if an active termite infestation is found it can be treated in several ways, depending on whether the termites are subterranean or drywood.  Since the different termite types require completely different kinds of treatment, it’s very important that the type of termite be correctly identified.  Unfortunately, you could have both types and you would then need to have two treatment plans.

Subterranean termites, as indicated by their name, live underground in the soil.  They require rather strict moisture conditions, met by the soil (or sometimes your home, so resolving that plumbing leak or any other moisture issue in your home can help prevent termite issues), and are often found in decaying wood.  Indications that the termites you are dealing with are subterranean include mud tunneling between the soil and the wood and tapping sounds coming from the work of the termites.  These types of termites can be treated with baits or barriers.  With baiting, you are trying to attract termites to a poison that they will then spread throughout the colony. Termite barriers separate subterranean termites from the structures with a physical barrier or a chemical deterrent.

Drywood termites, as indicated by their name, prefer dry wood and don’t have the same moisture requirements as subterranean termites.  Pellet droppings and attic infestations can help in identifying drywood termites.  Heat or fumigants are used for the treatment of these termites.  Heat treatment can include tenting and heating the home’s walls to high temperatures, in order to kill the termites.  Fumigation also includes tenting of the home, and then treating the pests with chemicals.

After treating for termites, your inspector will likely offer to sell you a warranty on the service, and perhaps an extended service agreement.  There are different types of plans, so be sure to shop around a bit to get the one that best suits your needs.  Annual professional termite inspections are recommended to make sure that your home remains protected from these pests.