How Do Termite Inspectors Find Termite Activity
Think you may have termites slowly but surely destroying your home? It’s time to call the termite inspection team to accurately diagnose the problem.
But how do termite inspectors go about detecting the little pests and what signs do they look for? Here are five factors that they take into account:
1. Entry Points
The first item on a termite inspector’s checklist is to look for general entry points around the home. Normally these entry points occur in corners and loose soil that resembles coffee grounds visible around the perimeter of the house. They will also check the inside of the home for likely entry points starting at the lowest point (normally the basement) and end at the highest point.
2. Visible Signs
During their perimeter and internal inspection of the home, they will also look for other visible signs. These signs include:
– Damage to any structural wooden features.
– Mud tunnels or tubes.
– Crusted dirt or mud in structural joints and cracks.
– Termite excrement or droppings.
– Entry and exit holes.
– Evidence of swarmers (winged termites) such as discarded wings.
3. Subterranean Termite Damage
Most species of termites live their lives underground and only make their presence known when they are in the winged phase of their life cycle. This is the reason why one of the most prominent signs of termite presence is mud tunnels. They use these to travel in open areas.
Subterranean termites are much more difficult to detect. An inspector will look for signs that may appear as damp or water damage in the home. These include swollen or drooping ceilings, raised or uneven floors and wood that appears to buckle. They may drill holes in the floors or wooden structural elements in these areas to confirm their suspicions.
In some cases, the water damage may be real but caused by termite activity. Pools or puddles of water around the perimeter of the house, on the roof or in the basement could be a sign of termites.
An inspector may walk around the home tapping certain walls and wooden features. This is to determine whether they can detect any hollow spaces that don’t belong. This is a very subtle art and the sound difference between an area that has been tunneled by termites and normal reverberations may be very slight.
Any areas that may be suspicious could be drilled with a small hole to confirm the presence of tunnels. A camera may be inserted into the hole to check further for evidence of termites going about their business or prior structural damage.
In the same way, that a termite infestation may look similar to water damage, they odor that termites give out are much the same as that of mold growth. If there is no evidence of mold and the odor is detectable, the termite inspector may take further steps to confirm their suspicions as described above.
If you detect any of the above signs, it is advisable to call a termite inspector as soon as possible to confirm and deal with the problem especially for new home building inspections.