How a termite inspection is conducted is a common question a pest controller is asked. While the overall process is quite simple, it is a very thorough one that involves a number of different tools and tests, as well as a variety of different things we keep an eye out for.
A Pest-Ex termite inspection involves a thorough examination of a property both externally and internally – looking for any indications of termite presence and activity. The behaviour of termites differs from property to property, however there are a few things that make the survival of a termite easier and these are a good place to start our inspections.
We begin with a non-invasive termite inspection – this is part of the management standard for termites, introduced in 2018 by Standards Australia. During this phase, we check the external areas of the property, for potential entry points or infestations, before conducting an internal inspection.
If we can confirm the presence of live termites, we will then perform a special purpose inspection where we want to determine the termite type and the extent of the problem using radar and/or camera technology.
Taking between 1-2 hours, our inspections are very thorough and enable us to provide a detailed report to our clients, as well as offer treatment plans.
We begin our external inspections by checking your fences, gates, edges of walls, slab edges, decks, steps, retaining walls, garden beds, tree stumps, and any other areas that are in direct contact with the ground – looking for any signs of damage, or termite activity.
We look at these areas because termites need moisture and a food source to survive, and each of these areas can provide this. For example, a tree stump can retain water for a long period of time, and being wood, is the perfect environment for a termite – often we will pierce the tree stump using a rodding tool or small pick (but you can also use a knife or screwdriver), we will then pull back any mud trails that may be present, exposing any termites inside – our objective is to determine whether the termite activity is current or old.
Besides looking at areas that come into direct contact with the ground, as part of the external inspection, we look for areas that may have a high moisture presence – such as near drain pipes and guttering, or anywhere where there may be drainage issues or water may pool.
In addition to this, we thoroughly examine all outside walls of your property, this will help us determine any potential entry points, and while a lot of signs of termite presence are not obvious, a more easily detected one is the presence of mud tubes or trails on your outside walls.
Usually the width of a pencil, these are small trails, made of mud that have been constructed by termites to make travel and survival easier for them- essentially acting as highways for the termites to travel on, while avoiding the cool dry air.
Mud Trails can be found anywhere, however, we particularly pay attention to any cracks or small gaps in your brickwork, as these can act an entry point. If you do notice any cracks appear, we recommend having them repaired as soon as possible.
Even if we don’t find any evidence of termite activity outside, we need to inspect the inside of your home because it may mean that any entry points may not be as obvious or visible.
Before we start out internal inspection, it’s important for us to be aware of any water damage or issues that may have occurred in your home, such as leaking taps, pipes, vanities or even toilets. We use equipment that scans for evidence of moisture in the walls of the property, and having this prior knowledge allows us to distinguish whether any present moisture may be due to termite activity.
Once inside, we start the inspection by walking clockwise, from one side of the house to the other, tapping on skirting boards, door frames, and window frames. We use a tool called a donger, which when tapped against wood, gives off a sound that changes based on the health of the wood. Termites feast on wood, often leaving just a shell of wood and/or paint, so when the wood is hit with the donger, it will make a different sound to healthy wood.
We will then use a moisture scanner to determine whether any areas may have an active infestation. Termites excrete moisture when they have eaten wood, so if we scan an area where the donger has found evidence of damage, but moisture is not present, we can assume that it may be an old infestation.
We also use tools to determine whether there is any movement or activity in an area. We use a thermal imaging camera and a Termatrac Sensor – both of which detect movement in different ways. These in conjunction with the moisture scanner, help us to determine whether any moisture is due to the presence of termites.
We keep track of any abnormal readings by marking the walls with a small dot as we go – we do this so we know the areas we may need to inspect further once we have completed our initial inspection.
The final place we check is the roof void. There are a number of areas termites can be present here, so we ensure that we climb all the way into the roof to inspect thoroughly. We assess the health of the roof trusses, and roof frames, in line with the requirements of Standards Australia. This thoroughness is what sets us apart at Pest-Ex , as it is not uncommon for many contractors to check the health of the roof from the manhole and not climb all the way in.
IF WE DETECT TERMITE ACTIVITY?
If we detect any termite activity, in order for us to complete our inspection and provide treatment recommendations, we need to determine what types of termites we are dealing with and the extent of the infestation. We do this by cutting a small access hole in the areas we’ve marked throughout the inspection; however, we only do this with the permission of our client. Once we have been able to examine thoroughly, we will then provide a detailed 12-page digital report and with our recommendations to treat your property.
IS IT TIME FOR YOU TO BOOK A TERMITE INSPECTION?
If you think it’s time for an inspection or suspect that you may have termites present at your home, do not hesitate to call pest control experts like Pest-Ex Pest Control in Brisbane. As described above, professionals inspect your property both externally and internally for any signs of termites. And if you need another reason, many pest control companies have incredible treatments that are effective, lasting up to 8 years, because they use Termidor – considered to be the most effective termite control product in the industry, by using Termidor we can ensure that we will treat your home effectively and thoroughly, putting you at ease.