Smart homeowners prefer to stay at the top of termite control. Termite inspections are the first step in preventing termites from invading your home, which is the primary goal of termite control. So, now you have scheduled it, what can you expect from them? Are there any steps you will need to take to get ready for the inspection from termite and pest control services? Getting your house ready for a termite inspection isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things you should think about beforehand.
How Can You Get Ready For A Termite Inspection?
You might already know that termites like to hide in damp and dark areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, or wooden structures like floorboards, etc. Therefore, inspectors perform a termite inspection to identify and eliminate termite infestations. Here are some tips that help you prepare before you hire an affordable pest control service.
- Check with your termite specialist if there are any specific preparations you will need to do before the inspection.
- Provide access to your attic, garage, crawl space, and space under your sink to your termite inspector.
- Remove items under your sink that may block your plumbing and items from your attic that prevent access to your roof.
- If you have a crawl space, remove any items that limit access to your crawl space.
- Remove items blocking expansion joints in your garage and move items away from the walls.
- Trim branches away from the sides of your house to prevent any obstruction.
- Relocate your furniture away from the walls on your deck or patio.
- Ensure that all doors and windows are accessible for inspection.
- Assure that pets are kept away from the areas being inspected.
What Are The Things Termite Inspectors Look For?
When you hire an affordable pest control service, they will probe and inspect it for signs of termite infestation. Your inspector will look at the following tell-tale signs of termite activity.
Blistered or Warped Surfaces
One of the signs that termite inspectors look for is blistered or warped surfaces. This includes doors, door frames, ceilings, and floors that appear slightly water-damaged or buckled. Drywood termites create living spaces, called galleries, inside the wood they infest, compromising its structural integrity. As a result, the wood appears warped or looks like blistered paint.
Hollow Sounding Surfaces
Termites eat the wood in doors, frames, fascia, eaves, and soffits, leaving only a hollow frame you can poke a hole through with a screwdriver with little effort. Termite inspectors will tap on wood surfaces to check for hollow-sounding areas that could indicate termite activity.
Kickout Holes and Piles of Frass
Termite droppings, known as “frass,” look like a pile of sawdust. Drywood termites live inside the wood they infest and remove the frass from their galleries by drilling holes in the wood. Termite inspectors look for kick-out holes and piles of frass as evidence of termite activity.
Reproductive dry-wood termites swarm in late spring and summer in search of mates with which to start their colonies. The workers drill exit holes to enable the alates to swarm, and they plug these holes with a frass paste after the reproductives have left the galleries. Termite inspectors will look for these exit holes to determine the extent of the infestation.
The termites’ wings fall off after mating because they are no longer needed. Discarded wings outside your home suggest termites in your yard, but wings within your home indicate an active termite infestation. Sometimes, you can identify them as flying ants, but the inspectors can tell the difference.
Subterranean termites build mud tubes, which are tunnels made of dirt, feces, and saliva, to transport food back to their colony. People can find these tubes in hidden places, such as behind shrubs, under porches, stairs, and closets. Termite inspectors will look for these mud tubes as evidence of subterranean termite activity.
Thus, a professional and affordable pest control inspection will look for holes and cracks in your home structures and any ground-to-wood contact that meets the house foundation. Moreover, they will be checking trees, storage sheds, decks, and patios for termite problems.
So, You’ve Had Your Termite Inspection, But What Happens Next?
If termites are found during an inspection, the inspector may give you a termite inspection cost and a list of repairs. The report typically includes recommendations for treatment and repairs and ongoing monitoring to detect any new signs of termite activity.
If no termite excrement is found, it will provide peace of mind that your home is currently free of infestations. Preventing termite infestations is still important; termite extermination can save money.
What Steps Can Homeowners Take To Prevent Termite Infestation?
As a homeowner, you can take these steps, which we will discuss, to help you prevent termites and reduce your expenses in termite infestation treatment.
- Regular Inspections: Conduct periodic termite inspections with a professional pest control service to identify and address potential infestations.
- Moisture Control: Termites thrive in damp environments, so maintain proper drainage and fix leaking pipes in crawl spaces or basements.
- Proper Ventilation: Ensure your home is well-ventilated, in basements, attics, and crawl spaces, to prevent moisture buildup that can attract termites.
- Wood Storage: Store firewood and wood debris away from your home (at least 20 feet). Moreover, elevate off the ground to avoid creating a termite habitat.
- Landscape Maintenance: Keep plants and mulch at least a foot away from your home’s foundation to prevent termites from entering.
- Use Termite-Resistant Building Materials: When constructing or renovating your home, use termite-resistant materials like treated lumber, concrete, or steel framing.
- Seal Gaps and Cracks: Regularly check for and seal any gaps or cracks in your home’s foundation, walls, and around utility lines.
- Avoid Wood-to-Ground Contact: Make sure decks, porches, and fences have proper barriers with treated wood to avoid direct contact between wood and soil.
- Maintain Gutters and Downspouts: Keep gutters and downspouts clean and in good repair to prevent water damage and wood rot, which can attract termites.
- Monitor Termite Activity: Install termite bait stations around your property to monitor termite activity and help control their population.
- Termite Bonds: Your inspector can advise you to invest in termite bonds, which have high costs, but then you will be in peace. This bond is a contract between a homeowner and a pest control company that provides protection against termite infestations.
By tidying up the interior and exterior of your residence, you can contribute to the effectiveness of a termite examination. If the inspector discovers termites, a well-maintained home will simplify the pest removal process. Moreover, engaging with the best termite and pest control services will further reduce the likelihood of subsequent termite infestations.