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Blog Pest Control Do Your Own Termite Inspection
Do Your Own Termite Inspection
Pest Control
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Should you wish to perform your own termite inspection, the first step will be to know exactly what you are looking for. Termites may closely resemble ants, but there are differences. The antennae of the termite will be straight, where that of the ant will be bent. Termites will also have a long, straight mid-section as opposed to a bulbous one. The wings of the termite are often the same length as the mid-section.
Spotting termites in your yard does not automatically mean that your home is infested. However, knowing that they are nearby should be some cause for concern. Should they be living in your yard, they could choose to move into the home. A self termite inspection should be done regardless of whether or not they are seen in the yard. The damage they cause can be extensive and expensive to repair. Should they be present in the home, swift action will need to be taken.
 
To start the inspection process, begin by examining the exterior of the home and foundation. Subterranean termites will build mud tubes which allow them to get from the moist soil up into the structure of your home. Should you spot these, break one open to see if live termites are inside. Should the tube be empty, do not assume that no problem exists. These mud tubes are only temporary shelter, and the termites may have moved to another outdoor area, or inside the home. While examining the exterior, look for any visible damage to wood prior to moving on to examining the interior of the home.
 
Once inside, check out the attic and crawlspace if your home has one. These out of the way spaces are preferred by termites because they allow these insects to easily hide. Carry a high powered flashlight so that you can see well in dimly lit areas. What you're looking for are smatterings of tan-colored material that resemble beach sand. This termite waste is usually located in areas within your attic that are close to your vents and near a light source. Light attracts termites which causes them to come to the surface of the wood to mate.
termite-wingsSubterranean termites found during a home inspection in Escondido. Do you ever see these on your window sills or garage floor?
 
In other cases you might find small translucent wings like these that are evidence that termites have been swarming in the area. You may find a few of these or you may find several hundred. Look closely at the wings. If there are no bodies attached it's a sign that the termites may have successfully mated and could be living inside the wood of your home.
 
In other areas within the home, check doors and windows for termite waste pellets. Additionally, pay close attention to drywall. Sometimes termites will push through it and you will see small holes on the surface of your walls. At the floor in these areas, you will see the tell-tale signs of termite pellets. Be on the lookout for both live termites as well as damage. Should you spot either, a termite control plan will need to be considered immediately. 
 
Self termite control will be one option should an infestation be noted. The other option would be to hire a professional pest control company which certainly is the better way to go. Often a termite inspection is free, or offered for a nominal fee ($50-100 USD). Note that if you are considering the purchase of a home, a home inspector will make every effort to expose termite problems but is not a replacement for a professional termite inspection. Most professional home inspectors note on and report on visible pest infestations but the skills of the inspector are different than that of a pest control professional. Also, in some U.S. states, home inspectors are prevented by law to comment on termite infestations and will often reference potential infestations by using terminology in their reports such as: "evidence of activity by wood destroying pests". Bottom line, if you be concerned about termites, a proper termite inspection by a qualified and licensed professional should be completed.

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Darin Redding
Written on Monday, 21 May 2012 00:00 by Darin Redding

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