How Often Should I Get a Termite Inspection?
Cleaning and maintenance of houses and their surroundings is something all homeowners know about.
While most are aware that termites can cause damage to a home, many don’t seek out the crucial part of maintaining the home which is a termite inspection.
Even fewer know how often they should get one and this could result in more damage to the home if it’s not caught earlier on.
What exactly are termites?
Termites are tiny winged insects that live in colonies. They eat plant matter and wood.
Really, no wood is safe from termites.
This is because they consume both live trees and plants, but have the preference for wood like that of your home. They are cryptic creatures which make them very difficult to spot since they travel by tunnels.
When should I get an inspection?
A termite inspection should take place at least once a year. There are some signs of termites you can look for on your own such as:
- hollow-sounding wood when knocked
- white ants
- termite debris such as droppings or wings
- tunnels in wood
DIY or Professional?
While some of the signs of termites may be obvious, it is still best to have a professional fully inspect the building.
For example, tight-fitting doors and windows are the norm anytime it rains due to the humidity. The same situation is what happens when termites are inside the wood-eating or residing, the emit humidity that causes wood to swell or fluctuate.
Termite damage facts:
- Termites cause more damage in Australia to buildings than fire, floods, and storms combined
- Most home and building insurance policies will not cover any repair costs or remedial services due to termite invasion or destruction
- Termites can destroy the timbers of a roof in as little as three months after being built
- All urban areas of Australia are at risk although some are more than others
What is the price of an inspection?
The price of inspection really depends on the size of the home that needs to be inspected and it’s the location.
For example, a 5 bedroom home is going to require a longer time to thoroughly inspect it than a 2 bedroom home would. Fees range from about $75 to $150 for a termite inspection.
In most cases, the fees are waived if it is found that you have termites and decide to treat the building.
What happens if I have termites?
There are a total of three different types of treatment to eradicate termites. The most commonly used methods are fumigation, spot treatments, and soil treatments.
Each carries a different price and pros and cons. Another varying factor is to which degree you have termites.
Which method of extermination is best for me?
Fumigation is often the first once that comes to mind for most, however, termites are not like every other pest.
Fumigation only works during the actual fumigation. Once dissipated, they could simply return and continue the destruction.
The other two options depend on the circumstances.
If you have just one area, you can spot-treat which is approximately $250 per 10 square feet of the area. This treatment is the cheaper of two options.
Soil treatment is the most effective and highly recommended solution to a termite infestation.
Why are soil treatments the most effective?
If you go the route of soil treatments, you can avoid the worry of environmental issues, unlike fumigation. The process is primarily effective due to baiting.
Bait traps are set out for the termites all over the property which will then be carried back to the colonies of the termites. The same substance used to bait them will prevent the molting state, thus eradicating the termite issue. This method runs between $800 to $1,500.
While that may seem a little pricey, the following yearly maintenance only costs about $125 to $250.
Should I continue inspections?
Whether you plan to keep or sell your home, it’s easy to see why this is important.
You increase your chances of selling your house quicker by having a home inspection every year and keeping documentation to show as well.
Even after a termite infestation is over, it’s always a good idea to keep up with the maintenance on keeping them out of your home.
For example, a queen of a termite colony could live up to 20 years in some species or more.
Termites have supplementary queens to take the place of their queen in the event she dies to continue the growth of the colony. Queens lay approximately 2,000 eggs a day which means you have to be vigilant.
How long do treatments last?
This typically depends on the method of extermination.
A liquid spot treatment could last up to 5 years.
Baits could be effective for a couple of months. However, they need periodic replacements periodically.
Once the treatment is complete, it is advisable to have a termite inspection more frequently to be sure they have not returned or found another way in.