Buying or selling a home can be a tricky endeavor. Among all the hustle and bustle, one shouldn’t overlook the importance of having a thorough home inspection. This includes an inspection for termites and other wood destroying insects (WDI). For this reason, choosing the correct pest control company is important. The goal is to find a company that has plenty of experience and is licensed, insured, and certified.
Among the different methods used to identify termite activity, the most basic is a visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home. The inspector will look for telltale signs that termites have invaded the home, including bodies of dead termites, piles of sawdust, excrement, tunnels, and visible damage caused by termites chewing the wood. The inspector will also check for signs of any previous termite treatment that may have been performed by the homeowner.
Termites tend to stay hidden underground or inside wood. As a result, other methods may need to be employed. Small holes can be drilled into the walls, and a fiber optic scope can be fed into the hole to look for termites.
Another method is to use infrared cameras that sense differences in temperature around the home. Areas of the home with moisture penetration and even termite tubes can be detected with the camera due to the fact that the moisture makes them cooler than the rest of the house. These methods tend to be more costly. The homeowner should decide what works best for them after consulting with their inspection company.
If activity is discovered, there are various termite treatment options available. A termiticide can be applied to the soil to create a barrier around the home. Another option is to use in-ground baiting systems where bait stations are placed around the perimeter of the home. The termites ingest the bait and spread it to the other termites in the colony, eventually killing them.
Pest control companies can also recommend ways to minimize or prevent termites in the first place. Conditions that are conducive to termites should be avoided; these include moisture, areas of earth-to-wood contact, and debris or excessive vegetation around the home.
To evaluate the presence of termites and WDIs, a comprehensive inspection report known as a NPMA-33 has been developed by The National Pest Management Association (NPMA). This form is a useful tool to help avoid many legal issues that can arise from real estate transactions. The report indicates what termite activity is uncovered during an inspection. The NPMA-33 form may be required by the home buyer, their real estate agent, lenders or their underwriters.
Unfortunately, many states do not regulate WDI inspections, and no credentials are required to fill out the NPMA-33. This means that the form can be filled out by non-certified pest control technicians, or even a home inspector who is not trained in termite inspection. A certified inspector would be more likely to follow the guidelines developed by NPMA and to be knowledgeable about safety regulations in the area. Inspectors are required to pass exams before becoming certified, preparing them for proper pest management.
When getting a termite inspection, home sellers and buyers should consider all of these factors in depth and educate themselves about the relevant laws and regulations in their state.
Author Bio: Rose McMillan is an experienced pest control professional, who has worked with highly reputable pest control companies, such as the likes of Terminix . Now, she pursues a career in freelance writing and enjoying the outdoors.