Home Termite Inspection: What to Expect
Updated: Jun 2, 2021
A home termite inspection is a sought-after solution for understanding the extent of a termite problem or preparing a property for sale with certification that it's termite-free. If you have any questions about this process or what to expect, our FAQ can help you find out more!
What is a Termite Inspection?
This is an examination by an experienced pest control expert to look for problems caused by termites, especially when it comes to damaged wood or property. Inspections can be arranged by owners who think there may be a nearby termite problem, and in areas like Oklahoma, termite inspections are common prior to the sale of a house so that the buyers know there isn't a current issue.
If you've not had a termite inspection, here's what to expect: The inspector will examine both interior and exterior components of the building, as well as the surrounding property – many termite species live underground in soil and leave telltale mounds or other signs that may show in your yard.
The inspector has training in exactly how to inspect for termites, and will look at basements, foundations, baseboards, walls, windows, crawlspaces, and other areas. They may also be particularly interested in any utility rooms or areas where plumbing enters/exits the building, which are often an access point for small pests. After looking at the house, the inspector will also examine your yard and important spots like sheds or woodpiles to watch for any signs of termites.
To help, make sure the inspector has easy access to these areas. If you already suspect a specific infestation location, let the inspector know when they arrive.
How Long Does a Termite Inspection Take?
As long as it needs to thoroughly examine your property! If you are scheduling plans and need a more direct answer, it's a good idea to contact us and talk about how large your building and yard are so we can provide you with a more precise estimate.
For a small home without much yard space, or an inspection confined to only one section of the house like a basement, the inspection may only take 30 minutes to an hour. For larger homes or buildings, the average inspection can last around two hours. For large properties, several hours may be needed.
This can also vary based on what the inspector finds. If signs of an active termite nest are located, then the inspector may need to spend extra time finding the center of termite activity, and check to see if there are any smaller nests developing on the property.
What Tools Does a Termite Inspection Use?
If you're curious about how to inspect for termites, professionals use a wide variety of tools depending on the building and the job. When areas are easy to access or signs of termite damage are obvious (more on this below), an inspector may only need a flashlight, a set of screwdrivers, and protective equipment to take a closer look.
For large projects, or when access is more difficult – such as termites that may be buried deep underground or in walls – inspectors can bring out more advanced equipment, such as an infrared camera that can detect heat clusters where large groups of termites are active, moisture detectors, or a prober tool to more carefully test wood for termite damage. This may also be done after a preliminary inspection when we are creating a thorough plan to deal with an infestation.
What Does Evidence of Termite Damage Look Like?
That can vary depending on the species of termite, and where they are currently living. Some termites create very clear mounds or connecting mud tubes that are visible on soil or in basements, which leads to a swift diagnosis. Other termites may burrow deep into wood and leave more subtle signs, like damaged wood/paint or the residue of termite scat. If you've found dead termites in your house, or even termite pieces like dropped wings, that's another sign there could be a problem. The clearest signs of termite damage are often hidden in walls and crawlspaces, which is why the inspector will need access to all areas of the house.
Do I Need an Inspection Even If There Are No Signs of Termites?
If you are buying or selling a home, it's important to arrange for a termite inspection around the same time the overall home inspection takes place. Even if there are no outward signs of termite activity, there could be nests buried in the walls or underground that are difficult to spot without an expert on hand. In many cases, the property will need a "termite letter" that shows it's free of problems before the sale can be completed.
Otherwise, if it's been years since you had a termite inspection and you have heard reports of termite problems in the area, it may be time to consider a separate inspection on your own, as termites swarm and create new nests every year.
Fortunately, there are solutions that can keep termites away for the long-term: EMCO offers Sentricon bait treatments made to quickly eliminate any growing termite colonies that may try to infest your property.
Does a Termite Inspection Cost Me Money?
That depends. A thorough inspection before selling a home can include a fee for the service and associated termite letter certification ($50 to $150 is common). If you have already found a termite problem and want to contact us for more information, EMCO can offer a free quote for termite control services.
Remember, if you are searching for "pest control inspection near me" in the Tulsa area, shoot EMCO Termite & Pest Control a quick message: We'll help answer your questions and arrange a speedy time for a home inspection!