Termite Inspection 101

Termites are a very serious pest issue. They cause more damage than all fires, storms and floods combined. Over $5 billion in damages a year. So do you want to try to perform the inspection or have a professional perform it? It’s your home.

Imagine a tiny termite worker eating your home. It’s half the size of a grain of rice. It isn’t out in the open saying, “Hey look at me I’m over here”! It hides deep inside the wood stud or support beam quietly going about its life. Hidden even further behind your drywall, paint and the book shelf.

So, who do you call? What do you say? First, I would ask friends and family who they have used and if they were happy with the experience. Termite inspection are usually free. And you should have one performed at least once a year. If it were my house I would have three companies come out until I found one I really liked and TRUSTED. You’re looking for someone who spends most of their time inspecting and answering your questions instead of trying to sell you a plan of some sort. Call three companies and simply say you’re looking to have a termite inspection. They may ask if you are selling your home, say no, unless you are. A termite inspection for the sale of your home costs money and is only good for thirty days.

Thermal imaging is the most advanced way to inspect a home for termites. The imager detects faintest heat signature behind the walls. Termites maintain a constant 86° environment. The imager can also help see water issues, which are a conducive condition to termites. Ask your inspecting company to use a thermal imager for the best results. Buyer beware of the inspector that shows up with just a screwdriver.

Make sure you have the time to walk around with the inspector inside and outside during their inspection. It’s important because if the inspector finds termites you want to see them. The termites will cop into the soil and disappear before you get to the spot the inspector found them. If shelter tubes are found ask the inspector not to disturb them. You want to see if the other companies found them. If they are removed they are impossible to see unless damage has accrued.

Don’t panic. Termites damage slowly. It is important you take your time and select the right company or you will be doing it again, I promise. Make sure you fully understand the companies approach for your solution. Don’t take their word for it. Take notes like, what material are they using and at what percentage rate. Every material has a clean out rate and a maintenance rate. You want the clean out rate, will they drill and if so where, how long is the warranty for. The material may last up to ten years. That’s not your warranty! You want to know how long your warranty is with the company. Typically its one year with an annual renewal. How much is the renewal and what does it cover and what does it NOT cover.

The top three materials used for termite treatments, in order:

  1. Altriset – safest material on the planet. Only kills termites. Attacks the enzymes in the termite’s muscles. No signal word. Won’t harm bees, fish, children or anyone. It’s simply amazing technology. Starts to work in two hours.
  2. Termidor – Most commonly used for termites and ants. Works very well when mixed properly. Works in three months. If you have ant issues this is the one.
  3. Premise – Non-repellent. It’s cheap only lasts 1-3 years. Easily washes away and leaches underground. If you have a well this isn’t the one.

Try to stay away from the larger well know companies unless you like being just a number. Stay with locally owned and operated companies. I would ask for referrals and actually call them. Again this is your home. Don’t go with the guy who’s the cheapest. Go with the guy who is going to do it right the first time. Trust your gut.

For more information, or to schedule your free thermal home scan, call our office at 1-866-930-4282 and make us one of your three companies.

Feel free to leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page, and as always, if you have questions feel free to contact me directly. I like helping people. 

Bryan W. Guderjohn
ATC Termite & Pest Control – CEO

Also, learn how to tell the difference between flying ants and termites

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