Termites can cause some major damage to your home. When active, they eat for 24 hours per day, seven days per week. But despite their affinity for destruction, it can be pretty difficult to detect a termite infestation. This is partly because of varying species of termites. Each of these species has different characteristics, which makes them adaptable to different climates. If you attempt to do the inspection yourself, you may be risking even more damage to your home. So, consider hiring a professional exterminator instead. They may be more expensive initially, but the investment will no doubt pay off in the long haul by ensuring the application of quality products and long-lasting solutions.
To know when you should call for a thorough professional termite inspection, you’ll want to do an initial search yourself. To do this, you will want to start off by checking damp areas of the house, especially those areas that are near wood. If it’s after rainfall, you should also check near the windows or other areas that may have gotten wet in the rain. Another option is to check for mud tunnels. Termites often create these structures when they’re unable to find anything to eat. For instance, when termites chewing on a wooden beam run into concrete, they tend to build mud tunnels until they come across a new food source. A good place to check for these tunnels is in your foundation. Finding a mud tunnel or seeing actual termites is a definite sign that you need to call in the professionals.
However, it goes without saying that the most obvious sign of a termite infestation is wood damage. But detecting wood damage is easier said than done. Termites tend to confine the damage they do to the wood’s interior, leaving the exterior mostly untouched. While you have the option of waiting for exterior signs, such as blisters and dark spots, you could also take a more proactive approach by periodically testing the wood with a small tool, such as a screwdriver, to determine its structural integrity. If the woodwork shows signs of damage and crumbling, then chances are that you’ll need a more thorough inspection.
An even more reliable approach to termite inspections is to have them done at least once a year. Depending on the circumstances, a typical inspection should last about 30 minutes to one hour. It includes an inspection of your basement, attic, crawlspaces, and other common problem areas. Once the pest control expert has completed his inspection, he’ll present you with his findings and recommendations for treatments and preventive measures.