The reason that a termite inspection is so important is because it’s the first step in keeping termites from invading your home. So, if you haven’t yet scheduled a termite inspection for your eastern Virginia home, then now is the time to do so. If you’ve already scheduled a termite inspection and are wondering what to expect, then you’ve come to the right place. Preparing your home for a termite inspection isn’t difficult, but there are a few things you can do to help make it go as smoothly as possible.
What Happens During Your Termite Inspection?
During your termite inspection, you can expect your Eco Pest Control technician to spend as much as two hours investigating every nook and cranny in your home. The size of the property dictates how much time is required to complete your termite inspection, so don’t be concerned if your technician completes the inspection in less than two hours or takes more time than what we’ve outlined here.
Your technician, who has advanced training in termite inspections, will check for visible signs of an infestation, such as damaged wood, mud tubes, termite droppings, and broken termite wings.
Because subterranean termites often access your home in places where plumbing penetrates the slab, the technician will pay special attention to the kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and utility rooms. That’s now all that will be checked. The technician will also inspect your garage, attic, and closets, while also checking your baseboards, walls, windows, crawl spaces, door frames, and insides of cabinets.
Let’s move to the outside of your home, where your technician will inspect the foundation of your house, the eaves of the house, and the exterior walls – looking for wood damage and mud tubes. Having thoroughly inspected the home itself, your technician will inspect your property and yard – including landscaping areas, trees, and plants – for signs of termite activity or evidence of any wood-destroying insects.
We’ll also inspect outdoor wooden structures, such as a patio, deck, arbor, shed, or carport, as these can be attractive to termites – especially if they weren’t constructed with termite-resistant products. Similarly, your technician will check any wooden fences. If termites find their way to your wooden fencing, then they can start munching on it and eventually follow the trail to your home.
We’ll also take careful note of any expansion joints or brick that have cracks in them, as these are common entryways for termites.
Once your termite inspection has concluded, the technician will provide you with any evidence of termites and other wood-destroying insects, as well as conditions that make your home conducive to such an infestation. You will also receive information that includes insects found; the conditions, avenues, and sources identified during the inspection; corrective or preventive treatment programs that are best for your home; and recommendations for correcting conducive conditions that can reduce the risk of future infestations.
What We Look for
Our technicians are trained to spot the slightest evidence of a termite infestation. Unfortunately, you often can’t tell termites are in your home until it’s too late and the damage it done – which is why a termite inspection is so important, because it can prevent the need for termite treatment. Here, then, are the warning signs of a termite problem.
- Mud tubes: Subterranean termites create mud tubes, which connect their nests to the wood they feast on. These narrow passageways are about the width of a pencil and are made up of wood and soil. Termites create these mud tubes for several reasons. They connect the wood to the soil, shield the termites from predators, and keep them from getting dehydrated. If mud tubes are present, then so are subterranean termites. However, just because you can’t see mud tubes on your property doesn’t mean you’re safe, as some termites – such as drywood termites – don’t make mud tubes.
- Wood damage: If knocking on your wood has a hollow sound to it, then you likely have termites, which can wreak havoc on structural joints, leaving them with a rippled or crushed effect. To inspect the wood, poke it with a screwdriver, which will expose any tunnels. Subterranean termites have a distinct style, always creating tunnels parallel to the grain of the wood.
- Evidence of swarms: Subterranean termites begin to develop new colonies once the eastern Virginia weather starts to warm. During this swarming period, they discard their wings, often leaving them in piles.
- Frass: Another term for frass is termite poop, and it is made up of very small, granular pellets shaped like ovals. If termites are present, then you’ll often find frass by baseboards, door frames, and windowsills.
- Buckling paint: If your paint is bubbling or peeling, then you might have termites. When termites damage drywall, it allows air and moisture to get between the paint and the surface. The moisture below the painted surface can start buckling as a result. Keep in mind that your paint may bubble and peel for different reasons, so buckling or peeling paint is not a definitive sign of termite activity.
Is it a Termite or an Ant?
Live termites are extremely difficult to spot. If you’re unlucky enough to spot one in your home, then make sure you can tell it apart from an ant. Subterranean termites are made up of three distinct groups: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Termites in all groups have a creamy-white appearance. The main difference between the groups is that the reproductives have wings, making them look more than a little bit like flying ants.
So, how do you tell the difference between reproductive termites and flying ants? Check the wings first. Like flying ants, termites have two sets of wings, one set in front and one set in back. The wings on termites are equal in length, while the front wings on flying ants are larger than their rear wings. Termites are also thicker through the middle than flying ants and have straight antennae instead of bent ones.
How to Prepare for Your Termite Inspection
You can make your termite inspection go faster and smoother by getting ready for the technician. Because the technician will check your water sources fer termite activity, anything stored underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks should be removed. Inside your garage and around the exterior of your home, anything that us stored against a wall should be moved to about two feet out. The same goes for the crawl space and attic – if your home has either one. In addition, make sure the crawl space and attic are accessible to the technician and that nothing inside either one will interfere with an inspection.
Finally, trim any bushes or ground cover that conceal exterior walls or the foundation.
How to Prevent Termites
Along with having a professional termite barrier installed for your home, there are nine things you can do prevent termite infestations.
- Check your home regularly for leaky faucets and don’t let water accumulate near the foundation.
- Clean your gutters frequently to ensure that water flows through your downspouts and away from your home. It is also wise to make sure the grade of the soil around the foundation slopes away from your home, which will divert water away from the foundation.
- If you have tree branches in your yard, then you are asking for termite activity. Dispose of any tree limbs to keep your property safe.
- If you have a nice stack of firewood waiting for that cold December Virginia evening, then make sure it is elevated off the ground and is no closer than 20 feet from your house.
- Wood can be a great ingredient in lots of mulches, but it can also be a beacon for pesky termites, whether for lunch or shelter. If you suspect you have a termite problem, then consider an alternate type of mulch.
- If you have dead trees or old tree stumps on your property, then remove them, as these are attractive to termites. Trim trees and shrubbery so that they don’t touch wood surfaces on the house.
- Inspect your roof and attic entrances for exposed wooden beams, which can provide easy access for termites.
- Remove cardboard boxes from your garage and attic, as these are food sources for termites.
- Check your windowsills for broken wings, check for mud tubes on your home’s exterior, and listen for hollow-sounding floorboards.
When It’s Time to Schedule a Professional Termite Inspection
When you need a termite inspection, you want to rely on the best eastern Virginia termite inspection company available, a firm with expertise and highly trained technicians.
Eco Pest Control offers free termite inspections to evaluate whether your home is termite-free. We’ll perform a thorough inspection, including all cracks and crevices and common entry points. If you have termites, we will give you a treatment plan and a detailed written report.
Why Eco Pest Control is the Leading Termite Inspection Company in Eastern Virginia
If you wait until you visibly see signs of termites in your home or office, then it might be too late. Be proactive and call Eco Pest Control, the leading termite inspection company in eastern Virginia. What makes us different than all the others? Here are five reasons you should trust us to protect your property from termites.
- Our termite exterminators are certified in termite inspection, and every member of our team undergoes extensive training in the identification, treatment, and control of termites.
- Training of our staff doesn’t stop after their initial certification. Eco Pest Control maintains an ongoing termite education program to ensure everyone on our team stays abreast of the latest industry advances.
- We offer free termite inspections, and each plan comes with a 12-month warranty that is renewable and transferable.
- We offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are not fully satisfied with your termite inspection and control plan, we will come back for free, which is why so many of our customers recommend us when friends and family need an exterminator.
- We offer the Sentricon termite system, which is safe for you family and stops termites dead.