Termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage to one of our most precious investments, our homes. They can silently invade and expand while the home owner is unaware. One of the best things that the DIY Pest Controller can do is a thorough home inspection. In this article, we will review termite home inspection tips of the professional pest controller.
If you see swarming termites, that is a pretty clear indication that you have a termite problem, but it is important not to wait until you see swarms to act. There are areas that should be inspected every six months to ensure that termites have not moved into your home.
Review any possible entry points such as siding, cracks in mortar, expansion joints, foundation voids, and porches. You are looking for any signs of activity which includes tubers (mud colored shelter tubes that are created by termites). These tubes may be located in the corners or cracks themselves, so get close and wear your glasses. Pay particular attention to areas where the earth comes into contact with wood, stucco, or veneer. They will follow cracks and edges as “guidelines”. Your windows, sills, garage doors and frames are all areas that can conceal the tubes. Look for wings, pellets, or ‘bodies’ on sills. Moisture problems in any of these areas could increase termite susceptibility.
Also, review areas that have mulch and timbers that are near to your home. You may find actual living termites in these areas and this will let you know it’s time to make sure you have adequately protected with a chemical barrier.
Your interior inspection will consist of squeezing into small spaces that no one wants to be in armed with a high power flash light. Your basement and crawlspaces need to be reviewed for the same signs of activity such as tubers, wings, bodies, actual damage to wood, and pellets. The foundation walls, joists, and sub flooring are all areas that need to be viewed and inspected. The cracks/corners where they meet are areas that tubes can be concealed. Also, if you are aware of an area directly behind a flower box or dirt filled porch, pay careful attention because this is an welcome entry point for termites. You may have to move some insulation aside by hand to view the structure underneath. Your attic is not normally the primary entry point, but an inspection of it as well will give you even more peace of mind.
Many treatment and prevention products only previously available to the professional pest controller are now available to the do it yourself-er. You can easily review your options for termites such as; chemical barriers, baits, traps and gels to keep your home and family well protected.