Having your house inspected for termites is an important step every homeowner should take to protect their home. Preventing termites before they invade is much easier and less costly than waiting until there’s a major termite problem and you must call for immediate help.
A termite inspection is required when taking out a home loan. Lenders require documented proof that your house was inspected and free from termites and other wood destroying organisms.
This official inspection is called a wood destroying organism report, sometimes referred to as a termite letter.
When you call Dave’s Pest Control for a termite inspection, you are getting the best technicians in the pest control business. Our specialists will perform a thorough inspection of your house or business. During the inspection, we will answer any questions and explain our inspection process.
The main things we will look for are areas conducive to termites and wood destroying organisms, and if there is an active termite colony present.
Starting at the front door, we examine its frame, the header, and the bottom of the door sweep. By lightly tapping around these areas, we can determine if there are any anomalies. If any are found, we will document that area for a more in-depth inspection later.
Continuing through the house, we will examine the baseboards and walls. Following along the baseboards, we will open closets for inspection. If the closet is full of household items and cannot be inspected, it will be noted on the inspection report.
Entering a bathroom space, we will look at the door frame and under sinks. A close inspection of the plumbing lines will help determine if there are any water leaks that could contribute to an infestation of termites.
In living rooms and bedrooms, we pay special attention to baseboards, walls, and windows for cracks or gaps which would allow termites to enter.
In the garage, we look along the walls and the garage door jam. The garage door sweep should also be checked for any gaps.
Next, the attic is inspected. We will carefully walk along the trusses to inspect the wood joists and framing boards. Overhead, we inspect the roof decking for any signs of leaking or other damage. Gable vents and attic exhaust vents are checked for any holes or openings.
Outdoors, an inspection of the exterior is carried out. The house’s foundation can have small cracks or gaps allowing termites to crawl inside. We look around windows and examine soffits. Air conditioning units are typically installed right next to the home’s foundation. A subterranean termite colony can survive for years with the moisture produced from the runoff down into the soil. The same is true for rainwater runoff from roofs and gutter spouts.
Decaying tree stumps, stored firewood, and mulch all invite termites. Wooden storage sheds can draw termites especially when they are located near water such as small streams or ponds.
Subterranean termites can go unnoticed for years living under the ground right near your home. While termites play an important role recycling dead wood from trees and branches, when they start feeding on our homes and businesses, they need to be stopped quickly to avoid costly damage.
You can take steps to keep termites out of your homes and businesses. Fix leaking gutters, replace wet damaged wood, and clean up debris. Removing these conducive conditions around your house will go a long way in keeping your home termite free.
Crawl spaces are an important area to be inspected for termites. Underneath a home’s crawl space, termites can go unnoticed for many years, along with unnoticed plumbing leaks that bring termites.
Many crawl spaces have a plastic vapor barrier that was installed when the house was built. If a leak develops from the plumbing lines, water and moisture can accumulate on top of the plastic vapor barrier. This causes an excessive amount of humidity to build up, eventually turning the crawl space into a perfect habitat for not only termites but cockroaches, flies, and fleas, too.
In addition to termites, there are a few other wood destroying organisms that we need to look for.
Powder Post Beetles.
Powder post beetles tunnel into wood and feed on the cellulose in much the same way termites do. The damage powder post beetles do can be seen in small, shaped holes tunneled into the wood. Like termites, they leave behind frass, which is a mixture of wood and feces, except that the powder post beetle frass is exceptionally fine and powdery. This is how the powder post beetle got its name.
Powder post beetles undergo a complete metamorphosis consisting of an egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. They damage wood in the larval stage. Small grub-like larvae tunnel deep into wood and can remain hidden for years. Infestations are usually noticed only when their frass is discovered.
Other wood destroying organisms include carpenter bees, wood decaying fungi and drywood termites.
Termites For Dinner
Termites have inhabited the earth for billions and billions of years. Fossils of termites have been found preserved in amber, a tree sap that has hardened and solidified over millions of years.
In some parts of the world, termites are eaten as a source of protein. In Africa, Asia, and South America in places where food is scarce, termites can provide a quick meal. Some termite mounds in these areas can grow from three to six feet high.
Ants are the biggest enemy of termites. They are much larger than termites and can decimate a termite colony in a few hours.
Termites In Florida
Subterranean termites including Formosan and drywood termites, cause billions of dollars of damage every year in Volusia and Flagler Counties. We see infestations in the towns of New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Oak Hill, Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Ormond by the Sea, and further inland in cities like Deltona, Orange City, Debary, and Deland.
When termites feed on wood, specialized enzymes in their saliva break down the wood. In addition, they have hundreds to thousands of microbes, further breaking down the wood-pulp. These gut bacteria are called protozoa and without it, termites would die of starvation. The symbiotic relationship between termites and protozoa is called mutualism. Protozoa can also be found in cockroaches and bedbugs.
Both subterranean and drywood termites, if not exterminated quickly, will grow into several different colonies attacking all areas of your home or business.
At Dave’s Pest Control, our termite customers receive yearly inspections to ensure that their homes are termite free. We also document outdoor areas that are conducive to termites.
While drywood termites tunnel into wood, they do not use mud tubes to travel back-and-forth. Instead, they get the moisture they need from the wood itself.
When drywood termites feed on wood, they leave behind frass which falls out of little holes in the wood. It looks very much like coffee grounds and is uniform in size, shape, and color.
Drywood termites do not leave any mud in their galleries. They leave smooth clean galleries peppered with many holes, called kick-out holes.
To treat drywood termites, we drill into the kick-out hole and apply an expanding termiticide that gets into all the tunnels and galleries the termites have made. We try to drill and treat as many kick-out holes as possible.
After we apply the termiticide, we fill the holes in.
We take special care to ensure that we do not devalue your home by drilling a bunch of needless holes in the walls, and when we patch up a hole, we use drywall patch to match white drywall or wood putty to match wood.
Termatrac Termite Detection Device
Many homeowners find termites when they are remodeling their home. It is not uncommon to find termites feeding on wall studs after removing the drywall.
Let’s say we found a suspicious area during our inspection. To get a better understanding of what may be going on behind the walls, we can employ a few different techniques to discover what we cannot see behind the walls.
Because we don’t have x-ray vision like Superman, it is extremely hard to know if a termite colony is hiding behind the walls unless they swarm or cause some other type of visible cue.
Dave’s Pest Control technicians have a device called Termatrac. This device allows us to detect movement behind a wall using microwaves. The waves reflect off moving objects but are absorbed by non-moving objects like wiring, wall studs, and insulation.
After the inspection, we draw a graph and plot areas of concern, as well as other areas that need to be treated.
We attach an inspection sticker to the home’s electrical panel, water heater or other visible location.
At Dave’s Pest Control, we offer both Sentricon bait stations with Recruit HD, and liquid termiticide treatments using Fipronil, the active ingredient in Termidor and Taurus SC.
Are you buying a new home? Applying for equity financing? Or do you need your current home inspected?
Call us today for a free estimate.