Termite inspectors are licensed professionals who have received extensive training in recognizing the signs of termite infestation. These highly trained inspectors can also identify the signs of termite damage in a residential or commercial building. Because termites are secretive and difficult to identify, termite inspectors play a key role in the process of eliminating these pests from your home.
The damage caused by wood devouring insects can be financially devastating to a homeowner. Once they’ve invaded a home, these pests can compromise the structural integrity of a building, creating thousands of dollars worth of destruction. Many homeowners don’t realize that their home has been infested until they see visible signs of the damage that these pests can cause. Sagging ceilings and buckling walls are late signs that a home has been invaded by termites. Termite inspectors can confirm the presence of these pests before severe damage occurs.
Termite Inspection Process
By the time a homeowner notices signs of termite infestation, such as small heaps of wood particles or droppings along the floorboards, or mud tubes running along the sides of the home’s exterior, the colonization of the property has already begun and pesticide treatment needs to commence. In the warm spring months, you may notice swarms of termites gathering around porch lights, or piles of discarded wings around the outside of the house. If you notice any of these signs, compare estimates from a number of licensed inspectors on the cost of a professional inspection of your home.
During an inspection, termite inspectors tour the exterior and interior of your house, searching for signs of wood devouring insects. The inspectors will examine the property around your home for signs of an outdoor underground colony. Subterranean termite species are attracted to damp soil, such as the earth under a woodpile. In order to make their way into the house without exposing themselves to light, subterranean species built tunnels out of mud, which may be seen along the foundations or walls of your residence.
Inspectors will examine the foundations of your home for signs of infestation by subterranean species. They may investigate your basement and the crawl spaces underneath your house, common entry points for these insects. If drywood species are common in your area, inspectors may also examine the structures inside your attic. Drywood species are especially reclusive, hiding deep inside the wooden fixtures of your home. Professional termite inspectors can recognize the unique behavior of the most common types of termites.
Most inspections take between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your home. As part of the inspection, termite inspectors may look for signs of other wood devouring pests, such as carpenter ants and wood boring beetles. At the end of the inspection, the inspectors will tell you the results of their search and will give you a form that contains the information they found. If treatment is required, termite inspectors can discuss your options for eliminating the pests from your home.
Arranging a Termite Inspection
Signs of termites aren’t the only reason to arrange an inspection for wood devouring pests. When you sell your house or buy a new home, an inspection may be arranged beforehand to ensure that the property is not infested. This procedure must be scheduled separately from the general house inspection. Homeowners who have not noticed signs of infestation, but who want to protect their property from insects, may schedule an evaluation to determine whether they should invest in preventive measures.
When you’re searching for a professional inspection service, make sure the company is licensed by the agency that regulates pest control in your state. Often the same company that performs the evaluation can also provide extermination services. Look for an experienced team with a solid reputation for eradicating wood destroying insects from residential buildings. Although many extermination companies offer treatment against termites, not all companies have the same level of experience or expertise.
After you’ve arranged for termite inspectors to examine your home, plan to set aside time to attend the inspection. Before the team arrives, compile a list of questions that you want to address with your inspector. Reliable professionals will answer all of your questions and address any concerns that you might have about the extent of the damage, treatment methods and the effectiveness of the different approaches to eradicating colonies.
Although the termite inspectors who examine the property may also offer to arrange extermination, you can take time to compare quotes before you make a final decision. Consider the types of treatment used by the different companies and whether these treatments are guaranteed for a certain period of time. Ask the company whether they will return to inspect the property, and whether they will repeat the treatments if the first round is unsuccessful. The more you know about your options, the more satisfied you’ll be with the results.