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Before we head over to Termite Inspection Checklist and how to guide, It will be helpful to reveal some shocking things to you.
Do you know that no insect strikes as much fear into the heart of homeowners than termites?
In fact, Termites can cause billions of dollar’s worth of damage and a single infestation can number in millions.
It is estimated that there are fifteen hundred pounds of termites for every human being on this planet! Can you imagine how creepy that is?
They are a formidable force to reckon with and spring season of the year is when they are at their peak. How? Why?
Because that is when they prepare to find mates and begin new colonies. March and April are the termites’ mating era, also known as swarm season.
March 12-18th is Termite Awareness Week, making it the perfect time to complete this termite inspection checklist around the home.
Termite Inspection Meaning
A termite inspection is simply a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of a home for trace s of wood-ruining insects.
The inspector in charge will visually inspect the total exterior of a home (including accessing and entering any sub-space such as crawlspaces and basements) and exterior of the property.
Termite Awareness Week
The PPMA ( Professional Pest Management Alliance) came up with Termite Awareness Week for the second week of Matrch.
This year, Termite Awareness Month falls on March 12-18. Follow the hashtag #TermiteWeek for more information.
Termite Warning Signs
- Signs of termite-feeding activity
- Swarming termites
- Mud-tubes (small tunnel-like structures made of wood and soil, found around termites nests, stone/concrete foundation and wood structures)
The farther away you live from termite colony, the less likely you are to discover evidence of their presence. Yet, mating pairs if termites will leave behind their wings as clues.
One clue that you have termites is if you see small, translucent wings around the home, such as in spider webs, around window sills, or any areas where you may have had termites in the past.
Learn how to spot early signs of termites so you can treat the problem before it starts spreading.
How to Inspect Your Home for Termites
When it comes to knowing if you have termites or not, it’s always best to take a proactive approach. Check the following locations with a pointed tool (metal; preferably) in hand, such as a fire poker or ice pick.
- Closely check the perimeter of your home for signs of wood damage. Probe the area with a flathead screwdriver or similar poking instrument.
- Be on the watch for signs of drainage problems, termite tunnels, moisture, damaged wood, fecal pellets or wings.
- Search for any kind of mud tubing (either connecting soil to wood or wood back to soil).
- Fix cracks in concrete foundations.
- Soil should be at least 8 inches below any decks, porches, or wooden structures.
- Any wooden support posts should be set in concrete.
- Repair any plumbing leaks ASAP!
- Eliminate wood piles and other debris under and around the house.
- Avoid flowerpots and plants right next to the house.
- Porch steps should not rest on the ground.
- Avoid trellises that touch the house and soil and the house.
- Schedule annual plumbing and HVAC maintenance inspections.
If you observe any moisture problems, cracks in the foundation or anything else that can send a welcome signal to termites, have them fixed without delay!
One foolproof method to preventing a termite problem from escalating around your home or business is to hire a professional pest management inspection at least once a year.
A professional will be able to conduct a full inspection and tell you what kind of pest problems you have and what to do about them.
The Texas Termite: Formosan Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes Formosanus)
This is one major type of termites that Texas homeowners should be away of.
The most common specie type of subterranean termites in the Texas area are Formosan Termites. Formosan termites are yellowish-brown and about ½ inch long. A lot of small hairs cover their otherwise transparent wings.
Formosan termites often enter the home via wood that is in contact with the soil. They travel travel from ground to wood through protective mud tubes.
Unsealed gaps and cracks in the foundation provide smooth entrances into homes.
Subterranean termites discover wood in your home via moisture in the surrounding soil or wood; but, aerial colonies can also infest roofs and other wooden spots that are above the foundation.
Formosan termites are major menace because of their numbers. While they may not be able to feed on wood faster than any other subterranean species, they are more destructive because their colony is typically much larger.
Formosan termites can number in the millions and are extremely hard to remove without help from a professional pest management company.
A Formosan colony can quickly grow into the hundreds of thousands and even millions, quickly causing extensive property damage.
Is Termite Inspection Necessary?
Should you get a termite inspection? In the US alone, termites cause an estimated $60 billion in damages per annum. This is huge and scary as well.
People wait a little too long to call on professionals. In many cases, the damage has been inflicted.
This is because termites are subterranean insects. They only surface or leave symptoms in their wake after they must have caused significant damage.
Inspecting a Home Before Purchase
At times, homeowners sell off their property without first informing the buyer about every detail. A termite problem may be part of the reason for wanting to part with the property in the first place.
You should carry out a thorough investigation.
By requesting an inspection of the property, you are able to avoid a problem that may become worse in the near future.
Is there a Need to Call in the Experts When I can inspect my Property Myself?
It all boils down to your level of expertise and experience. If you have an understanding of termite’s behaviors, then you may not need to engage the services of an expert.
But, if you have doubts about your ability and knowledge to clearly identify an infestation problem, then calling it in may be your best bet.
Major Signs Termite Inspectors are Looking For
How do you inspect a house for termites? Whenever you call for a termite inspection, there are definite signs experiences technicians look for.
This part of this article focused on Checklist for termites inspection will show you what should be included in a termite inspection report.
Termite Inspection Checklist
If you want to maximize your chances of finding evidence of activity, damage and infestation, here is a list of termite inspection checklist to follow:
Rugged overall clothing, bright flashlight with strong batteries, pen, graph paper and ladder.
Check entry point areas:
- The point/area where soil meets untreated wood
- Wet soil or surface water contacts structure
- external foundation walls (for mud tunnels)
- sub-floor wooden members
- external perimeters of ground earth-filled patios
- structures which touch soil and are connected to house
- flower pots in contact with walls
- stairs in contact with soil
- heating areas that keep soil warm for termite propagation
Check critical areas:
Examine areas that offer food sources to termites – wooden decks, porches, trees, shrubs, and fences; tree stumps and piled timber.
Examine areas that supply continuous source of moisture – AC drip lines, sewer lines, clogged drains, gutters, leaky roof tiles etc.
Search for Termite Activities
- house foundation wall (where wall and floor)
- narrowly confined areas that are hard to see
- areas near bathrooms and kitchen
- areas where structures enter the house
- Door and window frames
- attached porches
- areas behind dense foliage/shrubs
- Meters and fuse boxes set into walls
- wooden materials around swimming pools
- beams, Hearths, chimney bases
- window facings
- hardwood flooring
- unusual blistering in paintings
- staining on ceilings and wails (water leaks)
- raised or slit areas on floor covering (water leaks)
Keep an eye out for discarded wings of alates. If you come across any mud tubes, break it open. If its moist, it means tunnel is ACTIVE and if dried out, tunnel is NOT. If a tunnel is rebuilt after a few days of re-inspection, it also confirms that it is active.
Draw the property layout using the graph pad and document your findings while following the checklist provided above.
Termite Inspection Procedure
What does a termite inspection procedure looks like? Here is a list of what to look for when inspecting for termites.
Winged Termites / Alate
Termites who are sexually matured are produced from established termite colonies. These winged termites are also known as alates.
They get released from the major colony and embark on their maiden flight to start up 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 benefit of the findings of this termite inspection is that early treatment can be started as there little to no damage done yet.
Concrete Construction Joints Containing Mud
Termites are focused builders. These pests would make a re-attempt many times create or make a nest from the smallest cracks available.
So, during an inspection, technicians look out for mud dirt in between cracks.
Wherever these may be located, it is a clear sign that there’s termite presence in such area (s). Upon sighting such, further probe is carried out to know the size or extent of the nest to know the best treatment to apply.
Passageways or Mud Tubes
This is yet another sure sign 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 effectively contact a reliable pest control service.
Breaking open this passageway or 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 major target of any termite. They collect cellulose from wood. When termites cause damage to wood, it is not quite evident on the outside.
But a likely symptom includes droppings in pelletized form. When carrying out a termite inspection, the technician checks for this 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 noticed or identified.
Stored Logs of Wood
Termite inspection procedures covers a lot of areas and things including inspecting your surroundings for signs of logs of wood. If any is laying around, chances are, termites will be attracted to it.
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 infested with termites is likely to show cracks on the walls 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 Frequently Should a Termite Inspection Be Done?
The frequency of a termite inspection depends on various factors. Some of these include how infested your location or neighbourhood is.
Certain locations are known to be more infested with termites than others. In such locations, inspection can be organised twice a year or quarterly as well as from advice received from your pest technician.
This is the recommended termite inspection frequency.
How to Prepare for Termite Inspection
To prepare for termite inspection, here are a few things to do to ensure a successful inspection:
Here is a checklist of things to do in preparation to receive the termite inspector on your property:
- Remove storage from areas within two feet of house exterior; within two feet from wall of garage interior and areas under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
- Make sure you trim bushes or back ground cover that hides walls and foundations.
- Your attic would be inspected for termites, so ensure it is readily accessible, not blocked by storage. If the access is in a closet, take away clothing and storage that may block it.
- If you noticed any termite around your home, ensure you take your notes of the location and what you observed. It will afford more time to termite inspectors to concentrate more on these regions and check with their tools.
- Avoid turning on a steam shower with the windows closed, mopping floors and any other task that include water; as such activities can result in the moisture meters used by inspectors to pick up false positives.
- You need not worry about your pets, most professional termite inspection services are experts in handling them on the site.
How Long Does a Termite Inspection Last?
The average time to perform a deep termite inspection is about 45 minutes. Many factors affect the length of the operation; the size of space being inspected and accessibility conditions being the major ones.
How Much Does a Termite Inspection Cost?
The cost of a termite inspection is between $80 – $140 depending on the type of property to be inspected.
However, annual termite inspection cost can go up around a couple of hundred dollars, and such plans often come discounted by most termite inspection companies.
A termite inspection letter reflects the general conditions of your house after inspection.
For most services, preparing a termite inspection letter cost $45 – $50.
Who Pays for Termite Inspection?
If you are selling off a home, it may be great that you take up the payment. Termite inspection for home sale may be one of the easiest ways to increase investors confidence in buying your property.
However, if you are trying to get mortgage from a bank, they may demand a termite certificate as the buyer.
Termite Inspection Letter
Termite letters are otherwise called “Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report.” The termite letter is an important part of any real estate transaction.
Whether you are the seller or buyer, it is hugely recommended to have the home inspected by licensed professionals.
Termite Inspection Companies
Here is a list of termite inspection companies near me:
- Planet Orange.
- Proven Termite Solutions
- Inspector Ian.
- Attic Crew. 1
- Preston Pest Control
- TPCS-Total Pest Control Solutions
- Omega Termite & Pest Control.
- Pacific Coast Termite
- Cantor Inspection
- Hi Tech Termite Control.
Annual Termite Inspection Cost
The average annual termite inspection cost is around $100-$500 though most pest control companies offer them free annually
Termite Inspection Report For Closing a New Home
Once a real estate transaction is about to close, the lender will often demand a report that assures the property is free from termites and other wood destroying organisms.
This “termite letter”, or termite inspection report for closing is officially known as the Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report in the state of Georgia, and it must be completed by a licensed pest control professional who is specially trained in the art of detecting active infestations, inactive infestations, and conditions conducive to termites and other wood destroying organism infestations in and around a house.
What to Expect During the Home Termite Inspection
The seller and buyer may choose to be present during the inspection or only the real estate agent could be in attendance.
Generally, the inspection often take close to an hour to complete, and during that period the inspector will need access to all interior and exterior areas of the house including closets, attic, basement, rooms, and crawl space.
They will be searching for any presence of termites, wood decaying fungus, wood boring beetles, signs of any past infestation that has been treated, or indications (including conducive conditions) that there is a risk of future infestation.
Aside this, they will be looking for indications of an infestation or presence of termites or other wood destroying organisms including discarded wings, frass, mud tubes and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
What the Termite Inspection Report for Closing Covers
Generally, the inspection is often done within 30 days before closing. If the closing is slowed it may be necessary to get another termite inspection report to make sure it falls within the 30-day window.
The Termite Inspection Report for closing covers the following information:
- Whether or not the visible evidence of a wood destroying organism (WDO) infestation was identified during the inspection.
- Areas of the structure that were obstructed or inaccessible during the inspection.
- Any conditions conducive to infestation for wood destroying organisms that were identified during the inspection.
- Whether or not the inspection yielded signs of an active or inactive infestation of specifically listed wood destroying organisms.
- Whether or not the company performing the inspection treated the structure for any of the listed wood destroying organisms, and if so, whether or not the current treatment warranty, if any, is transferable to a subsequent owner.
In most of the cases, the realtor will arrange the inspection. If not, the buyer automatically schedules the responsibility of finding a termite company.
If the house is basically under a termite guarantee, the seller should inform the realtor. Often a current termite contract can be transferred to the buyer; that is a matter to be discussed with the pest control company to see if it is an option.
After Termite Inspection What Next?
An inspection is meant to find out whether or not your property is free from termites. For more reliable protection from these pests, it is best to schedule an inspection calendar.
Based on the findings your inspection presents you, you will need to apply treatment if there’s an existing infestation or carry out preventive treatment to forestall such problems.
There are lot of ways to eradicate termites.
These involve the use of natural treatments 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 Elimination Methods
Termites can be eliminated via predatory treatments such as the use of nematodes. These come with no danger to pets or humans. But is highly effective on termites.
These feed on the pests and get rid of termites in no time.
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 applying or spraying any pesticides of your choice. This poisons them and has a far reaching effect and exterminates them eventually.
Arresting Termite Infestation
To save yourself the energy and time used in fighting termite infestation, the best strategy is by strictly implementing preventive treatment.
This will include carrying out frequent supervision around your property, applying chemicals and other treatments to discourage a build-up.
Plus, all holes and cracks 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 focus of our discussion. We have covered many aspects of this point by identifying the telltales pest technicians are most interested in.
You can use this to gain greater insights into how termites behave.
Inspecting for termites is important to stopping 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 prevent such, it is best to seek expert help in termite inspection and finding a lasting solution to the infestation problems.
Note: It is important for you not to confuse inspection cost with treatment cost. Once the inspection is complete, you will be presented with treatment options. These consider the source of the problem as well as recommendations for treatment.
What termite inspection checklist do you follow? What is the average cost of termite inspection procedure in your area? Share using the comment box below.