Termites

A termite inspection is a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of a home for evidence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) and wood-destroying organisms (WDO). The inspector will visually inspect the entire interior of a home (including accessing and entering any subspace such as basements and crawl spaces) and exterior of the property.  In the Sierra Vista area Drywood termites are prevalent, and in houses where there are no subareas, the attic may also be accessed and inspected.  After the inspection has been performed, the findings are reported on the applicable/appropriate form.

The average termite or pest inspection takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes for a thorough inspection, depending on the size and conditions (e.g. clutter; storage of personal items, etc.) of the home and property.

Subterranean termite colonies consist of three different castes--reproductives, workers and soldiers. All of the subterranean termites are generally creamy white in appearance and are translucent, looking very much in size, shape and color as a grain of rice.  The reproductives, or “swarmers,” have a pair of even-sized wings and are often mistaken for flying ants.  The workers look similar to the “swarmers,” only they are a little smaller and do not have wings.  The soldiers are also similar except for their oversized heads and large, crushing mandibles.

There are several methods available to treat subterranean termites.  A chemical treatment is the most common treatment type available for subterranean termites.  The goal of a subterranean termite chemical treatment is to establish a continuous termiticide barrier between the termite colony (usually in the soil) and wood in a building.  This is done by placing termiticide in the soil on both sides of all foundation elements to provide a barrier preventing termites from entering the structure.  Technicians trench the soil and inject termiticide beneath it at 16-inch intervals.  They also drill into hollow masonry block foundations and inject termiticide into the block voids. This creates a protective barrier around the property. If a Dry wood termite infestation is isolated to a wood member that can be easily replaced or detached, the inspector may simply suggest wood replacement.

If the inspector suspects that a Drywood termite infestation extends into concealed areas, they may suggest a tent fumigation. Fumigation involves placing the entire structure in gas-tight tarpaulin (which resembles a circus tent), releasing the gas inside the seal, and aerating the fumigant. Before fumigation can occur, the homeowner must removal all plants and animals remove or place food items inside special protective bags, and stay out of the house for a three- day period. While the tent fumigation is more expensive and inconvenient for the homeowner, if done properly, it ensures the elimination all detected and undetected termites in the structure.

If the inspector suspects that the Drywood termite infestation is isolated to a local area, they may suggest using borates. This involves drilling small hole in which borates are injected or applied (using spray or foam applications) to the surface at the area of infestation.  If a dry wood termite infestation is isolated to a wood member, that can be easily replaced or detached, the inspector may simply suggest wood replacement.