Termite inspection is a visual survey of the areas of your home in which you may have termites or other wood destroying organisms. An inspector will look at all areas of the home which may be susceptible to termites, including basements and crawlspaces. If Drywood termites exist in your area, inspection of the attic may be necessary as well.
Even if you live in a colder part of the United States, you might want to consider termite inspection. Termites have even been found in Alaska! Cold doesn’t actually kill termites, it just makes them hibernate. A surprising number of homes in the United States turn out to have termites, and that’s why termite inspection is a good idea.
There are several different kinds of termites, and there are three different castes of subterranean termites. A termite can be a soldier, worker or reproductive. They are off-white and somewhat translucent. From a distance, they look a little like grains of rice. The reproductives, however, look a lot like ants.
The reproductives, also called “swarmers”, may show up in your home if you have an infestation. If you see a swarmer outside, that may not mean that you have them in your home, but if you see them in your home you should be somewhat concerned. The workers don’t have wings, and the soldiers have very large head, but you most likely won’t see them, since they work underground.
If you see a swarmer in your home, make sure it’s not a carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are shaped more like an hourglass. The are narrow in the abdomen, with a larger rear and front. Termites aren’t as curvy. They look more like pills or cigars than ants do.
Also, termites and carpenter ants have different wings. Carpenter ants have large wings in the front, and smaller wings in the bag. Termites wings are about the same size in both the front and the bag. Also, carpenter ants have less veiny wings. Finally, ant wings have a dark spot on the edge of the wing, whereas termites don’t.
You can also tell the difference by looking at the antennae. Termite antennae are straight, but carpenter ant antennae are bent or curved. Being able to tell the difference between ants and termites is important, as that’s one of the key ways to recognize a termite infestation.
You can also look for mud tubes along the walls too. These are basically tunnels that termites make. A termite inspection will look for signs of termites based on tubes, termites around your home and other signs. You might see a hole in the drywall, for example.
Termite inspection experts will also look for areas in which termites are most likely. A termite needs food and water to live. Food is wood (and other substances), but water is often more difficult for them to find. So, during the inspection, an expert will look for dripping faucets or puddles of water.
Termites can hide for years and years, and it helps to have a professional termite inspection to make sure you don’t have any around. The key to successful termite prevention is finding them early. Termite damage happens over the long-term, and the sooner you catch them the better. Having a professional inspection of your home can certainly put your mind at ease. Also, if you’re buying a home, you should know that a traditional home inspection doesn’t often include pest inspection.
Getting professional termite inspection is a great way to eliminate concern. However, once you know your home is termite free, and you’ve successfully passed the inspection, you will want to prevent infestation. Taking steps to prevent infestation will cost a lot less than dealing with an infestation.
It’s pretty easy to take basic steps to prevent infestation after your termite inspection. Check for water leaks and puddles around your home. Again, termites need water, and if you can get rid of water, you can greatly reduce your risk. Of course, if you live in a moist area, it’s more difficult.
Dense foliage, for example, can create moisture, which is a water source. Preventing water sources is key, as is prohibiting the survival of a colony. A termite inspection professional can also give you ideas about preventing infestations. Even simple tasks, like clearing out the mulch and other debris around the home can greatly reduce your risk. Certain types of wood, such as plywood that’s directly on wet ground, for example, should be removed or elevated.