How Does a Pest Controller Check for Termites?

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A lot of people are curious and have questions about termite inspections. It’s quite a thorough process. Let’s take a look at how a pest controller checks for termites — what is the process, what is exactly done, what equipment is used, and how long it usually takes.

External Inspection

A termite inspection starts with a visual examination. All the accessible external areas of the place are looked at, which include the wall edges, fences, the slab edge, decks, steps, landscaping timbers, retaining walls, stumps and any areas that have direct ground contact. This is to look for any sign that there might be termite damage or activity that will give us information regarding potential entry points to the home. It helps to check externally first because this is how we know where the termites have entered the home, whether it’s through a hole in the exterior wall or a crack in the brickwork.

In cases where we see a sign of termites, it’s usually pierced with a knife or something long and sharp-ish, like a screwdriver, and pull back the mud to check the termites that might be inside.

As per the 2018 Standards Australia management standard, it is required that a non-invasive standard inspection is done first. When there is evidence that there are live termites in the area, a special purpose inspection that uses a radar or camera technology so check how big the problem is and also to make sure that we know what type of termite we’ll be working with.

Internal Inspection

After checking the outside, we then move to the inside of the property. What we look for on the inside are “moisture incidences.” This is to ensure that what we’re seeing is indeed termite activity and not water leaks. Homeowners would be usually asked if they have had leaks in their bathrooms, kitchen, or vanities. We then check such areas, using a scanner, for evidence in moisture in the walls.

It’s a slow walk through the home, going clockwise from one side to the other. We then tap skirting boards, door frames, and window frames with a donger. In spaces where termites have invaded, they would usually just leave the external paint, having devoured all the wood behind it. We will know a wood is damaged because when you hit it with a donger, it will have a different tone. When a wall area sounds hollow, it is a sign that there is termite damage.

These areas are also scanned using a moisture scanner. Because termites excrete “mud” when they’ve eaten wood, making moisture a good sign that they are around. If a damage is found through the donger but there is no moisture in the area, it could be that it’s an old termite infestation.

A Termatrac sensor also helps during the inspection. It works like a heart rate monitor, where the blue line would flicker if there is movement within the wall. There is also the thermal imaging camera to measure movement as well. When these technologies are able to show a sign of movement, it confirms that there’s a live infestation of termites in that area. If there is no sign of movement, then that means that there are no termites there and that the moisture isn’t by termites. Walls with abnormal readings get marked with small dots.

Termite Activity Detection

In having the small dots or the marked areas, permission is asked of the client to cut a small access hole to be able to look into the wall to see what kind of termites need to be dealt with. A 12-page digital report will then be given to the client with the recommended treatments.

Having a professional do an inspection of your property for termites is an important step to taking care of your property and your home. The treatments done usually last up to eight years with the use of Termidor, which is considered the most effective termite control product in the industry.

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