​What Is A Termite Inspection?

A termite inspection is a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of a structure including areas such as garages, crawlspaces, basements and the foundation with the objective of finding live termites, termite damage and or shelter tubes. When ZipZap Termite & Pest Control performs a termite inspection all visible spaces are inspected by one of our highly trained and extremely knowledgeable service technicians. This blog will be taking you inside the process in which ZipZap follows for all of our termite inspections.

When we arrive we will start at the lowest level of the structure and inspect our way up. The reason we start at the lowest level is that in Missouri and Kansas we deal with Reticulitermes flavipes, also known as the eastern subterranean termite that builds underground colonies with up to two million members residing in them. The lowest level of the structure in most cases is the entry point for termites. When we are in a crawlspace we inspect the rim joists, sill plates and floor joists that are visible and accessible both checking for any visible signs of termites as well as testing the integrity of the wood exposed.  When we are inspecting a basement we first start in the unfinished areas again inspecting all visible and accessible rim joists, sill plates and floor joists and any other wood exposed. Termites only need a 1/16″ crack to enter your home so checking behind insulation and inspecting cracks and crevices throughout the exposed areas of the home is vital.

Once we are finish in the lowest level and unfinished areas we begin inspecting the rest of the interior. This step is where some companies slack and miss termite damage or evidence. Although finding termite damage or evidence in the kitchen, for example, isn’t as common as finding them in the crawlspace, it does still happen and to complete a full termite inspection the entire home, including areas like the kitchen and bathrooms, need to be inspected. When we inspect the interior we open every door, look in every room and with our flashlights scan every wall to make certain we inspect everywhere and find termites no matter where they try to hide. The reason we scan the walls throughout the interior is that termites can actually eat the paper that is attached to the drywall and if they have made it to the paper they have also most likely eaten the boards behind the drywall as well.

The last part of the inspection is the exterior portion. When we start the exterior inspection we are inspecting anything within 30 feet of the structure. This includes sheds, detached garages, tree stumps, landscaping timbers, wood piles and more. We first start by walking around the structure inspecting the exterior foundation wall, looking for any signs of termites entering the home through shelter tubes. Shelter tubes are tunnels made of dirt that termites build to move from the colony to a food source above ground, they use these tubes as a kind of highway system and use pheromones tracks to alert one another where to go. Once the exterior foundation wall is inspected we move to the items around the home within 30 feet. We turn examine tree stumps, we test the integrity of wooden decks, we examine wood piles, we inspect wooden fences and we inspect wooden landscaping timbers. The thing that all of these items have in common is that they are examples of wood to ground contact which is never a good thing to have around a structure. Having wood in direct contact with the ground will welcome termites to your home or business every time. Once the entire exterior and surrounding areas are inspected our inspection is completed. If any termite evidence is found during the inspection we alert the customer and show them all the areas of concern.

Now you know how ZipZap Termite & Pest Control performs a termite inspection. If all of these steps aren’t completed there is a high chance of missing termites during an inspection and that’s why we find more termites than any other company in the area. We have been trusted to inspect Kansas City for over 20 years and look forward to continuing to help families all across the area stay protected from termites.

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Termites: tiny in size, huge in importance

Kansas City is a city infested with subterranean termites with roughly 41% of homes affected. When you go to sell your home, refinance your home or buy your next home termites need to be on your mind. It might sound silly but these little guys can kill a deal faster than you could imagine. Termites cause over $5 billion worth of damage each year in the US alone. If you don’t get your home professionally treated or at least annually inspected you run the risk of allowing these destructive armies of wood destroying insects to turn your home into dirt.

Inspecting your home annually for termites in Kansas City

An annual termite inspection is a great tool to use as a homeowner to catch a termite infestation. The quicker the termites are found in or around your home the quicker you can get it treated and limit the amount of damage to your home. If gone undetected for too long the amount of damage that can take place will leave you spending thousands in repairs. There’s no need to spend thousands on repairs when you can spend less than $100 on an inspection.

A termite inspection consists of thoroughly inspecting the interior and exterior of the home; focusing on unfinished areas inside and around the foundation on the outside. The interior inspection should consist of checking behind insulation where it can be reached, checking the integrity of the wood where it is exposed and scanning the walls checking for any imperfections related to termites. The exterior inspection should consist of walking around the foundation looking for any shelter tubes (mud tubes) that are coming from the ground and checking the integrity of any wood that is exposed and or touching the ground.

Treating your home for termites in Kansas City 

If you have found live termites, termite damage or just want to keep your home protected you need a termite treatment. Getting your home treated for termites and kept on an annual warranty is the best thing you can do to protect your home. No one likes to spend money and that’s understandable but when it comes to the structural integrity of a home it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive. You can pay less than a thousand dollars for a termite treatment or spend several thousand in repairs, either way, you’re most likely going to have to spend money.

The process of a termite treatment consists of creating a barrier around the home with a professional grade termiticide or bait. The two best products on the market are The Sentricon System by Dow AgroSciences and Termidor HE by BASF. The Sentricon System is the best bait treatment available and Termidor HE is the best liquid available. If you are thinking about a termite treatment for your home these are the only two products you should consider; if a company isn’t using one of these two products they aren’t giving you the best treatment available.

Bottom line termites are everywhere and extremely destructive. Make sure you’re proactive and get your home annually inspected or treated with Sentricon or Termidor HE.