Termites are destructive pests that can cause extensive damage to wood structures and real estate. Termites feed on wood from the inside out, weakening it until it begins to rot. The result is structural damage, valuables lost or destroyed, and a lasting impression on property values.
In California, as in most states, termite infestations usually originate from untreated soil around the home. A home inspector will be able to identify any potential termite entry points into your property. With that information, along with the costs of treatment and monitoring expenses before and after treatment, you can determine whether or not you should get an inspection prior to signing a contract for pest control services. If you do decide to get a home inspection, read on for more details about what you’ll find during an inspection and how an inspector will evaluate your property for signs of termite activity…
Why do you need a termite inspection?
The best way to determine whether or not you need a termite inspection is by talking with your home inspector. They’ll be able to provide a more accurate answer than we can because they have the knowledge and experience in knowing how to spot signs of termite activity. Another reason for needing a termite inspection is that while most homes will not be infested with termites, other pests like rodents or ants may.
Your home inspector will also be able to offer suggestions on ways to deal with these pests before they become a serious problem. These include treating cracks and crevices around your home for ant colonies and sealing up entrances for rodents.
Finally, it might just be that your home inspector thinks it’s a good idea for peace of mind. If you have children or pets, it could make sense to get an annual inspection.
Types of termite inspections
There are several different types of termite inspections. This can be confusing because each type is designed to look for a specific type of termite activity.
The most common types of termite inspections are visual, bait and barrier, and thermal. Visual inspections involve a homeowner going through their property with an inspection device that looks for signs of termites (trails, nests, fecal pellets), while the bait and barrier approach involves placing baits at entry points into your home or structure that are known to be active. The thermal inspection is designed to detect heat coming from building voids where there is no obvious source of heat such as light fixtures or appliances.
What to expect during a home inspection for termites
Expect to find a variety of insects and other pests, such as ants, cockroaches, earwigs, spiders, and ticks.
Termites chew on wood and create tunnels leading into the structure. They prefer moist areas and will often live in trees or bushes around the property. Signs of infestation may also be found outside.
Inspectors will perform various tests to determine if there is an active infestation. These can include looking for beetle castings (excrement produced by termite colonies), finding signs of their activity (such as swarms or piles of sawdust), looking for pheromones (signals termites use to communicate with each other), or using a small hand-held device that emits a high-pitched sound that only termites can hear.
How does a termite inspection work?
During a termite inspection, the inspector will be looking for signs of infestation. This includes any evidence of mud tubes, droppings, frass (poop), and wood damage.
As you walk through your home with the inspector, you’ll be asked to identify potential entry points for termites. If you see something that could indicate an infestation, the inspector will ask you about the history of your property and give you recommendations on how to prevent future issues. If there are no signs of an infestation but there is an infestation risk, the inspector will provide suggestions on how to monitor and treat your home for termites without having to pay a large sum of money up front.
Benefits of getting a home inspection for termites
The benefits of getting a home inspection for termites include:
a) An inspector will examine your property to identify any potential infestation points and repair or seal off the areas in need of treatment.
b) You can avoid unnecessary expenses by hiring an inspector if you have no evidence of termite activity, including sightings of ants or dead bugs on the floor.
Reviewing the results of your termite inspection
Termite inspections are done on a property in order to identify areas of the building that could be vulnerable to termite infestation. While the inspector is assessing a property, they will look for signs of what they believe to be subterranean termites: mammal holes (or “galleries”) in exterior walls, and soil that is disturbed by the entry of these gallery openings. They will also look for evidence of wood damage, such as hollowed out wood, wood decay, and damp wood. Termites enter homes through these galleries and may travel through hidden cavities or dark spaces that are difficult for homeowners to see with the naked eye.
If you live in California, it’s required that you get a home inspection for termites. A termite inspection will show if you have any signs of termites – like termite feces, damaged wood or an infestation. Getting a home inspection for termites is the best way to know if you have the pests and to prevent further damages.