An annual termite inspection is a huge part of termite control. These inspections not only look for signs of termite activity and previous damage, they also look for any areas of your home that might be at risk for future termite infestations. Although termite season peaks in spring and early summer, you can schedule your inspection at any time during the year. What’s most important is that you have it done every year; termites can go undetected for long periods of time so annual inspections can help catch this activity early, saving you on costly treatments and repairs.
What’s the Cost?
The good news about termite inspections is that most companies will perform them for free (unless it’s part of a real estate transaction). In most cases, once the inspection is complete then you will pay for either a treatment (if activity is found) and/or to have your termite bond renewed for the next year.
How Should You Prepare?
Once you schedule your termite inspection, the next step is to prepare for your technician’s arrival. Make sure to remove anything under your kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow them to check for any water damage or termite activity in these hotspot areas. In your garage, make sure anything stacked against the walls is pulled out at least 2 feet. The same goes for anything touching the exterior walls of your home. Remove any items that might be blocking the entrance to your attic or crawlspace. Trim any bushes or plants that conceal your exterior walls, crawlspace opening, or foundation.
What Happens During Inspection?
The average inspection will last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of your home and property. A technician will carefully inspect both the inside and outside of your home, looking for signs of termites including droppings, discarded wings, mud tubes, damaged wood, and live termites). They will also check for any signs of previous termite damage. A termite inspection should include examination of baseboards, walls, windows, crawlspaces, door frames, windowsills and frames, inside cabinets and closets, attics, garages, and foundations. They will take extra care when inspecting kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms since termites will often use plumbing that passes through foundations to gain access to your home. They will also check the surrounding property and outbuildings, as well.
What Are the Next Steps?
If termite activity is detected, appropriate termite treatment options will be suggested. If there are no signs of activity or infestation, termite prevention tips may also be recommended to help prevent any future damage. Some things you can do around the house include:
- Eliminating moisture by repairing leaky faucets, not letting water pool near foundations, keeping gutters clear, and using downspouts to divert water away from your home.
- Maintaining your landscaping by not letting anything touch the exterior surfaces of your home (wood debris, woodpiles, mulch), removing old stumps and dead trees, keeping shrubbery and trees trimmed back from the walls of your home, and avoiding wood to soil contact with your home, outbuildings, and fences.
- Repairing roofs and attics as soon as broken tiles, shingles, etc. are spotted. These often expose the wooden beams of your attic providing termites with both a food source and access to your home.
- Replacing cardboard storage boxes with plastic when possible.
If you suspect termite activity or just want to get a step ahead at termite prevention, contact your local pest control company and schedule your free inspection.