There are usually two reasons why you would need a termite inspection. Either you suspect you may have an infestation or you're buying a home and your mortgage company requires it. We look forward to helping you with your termite inspection, we are very thorough and will provide digital pictures as a part of our report - especially in places that may be too difficult for you to detect. Termites can be insidious in Florida. A termite colony of 60,000 workers can consume a one-foot length of two by four in as little as four months. Multiple termite colonies will consume more wood.
We do a complete inspection of your home both in the interior and exterior, to identify possible termite activity. Custom Pest Solutions employs a state certified inspector, who looks for evidence and damage from subterranean termites, dry wood termites, wood destroying beetles and/or wood destroying fungi. Based on the results of this inspection, a customized treatment plan can be recommended if there is an active infestation. We can provide a detailed "Wood Destroying Organism" inspection report (WDO) also known as a Termite Inspection.
Additional information for you to be aware of:
- The WDO Inspection Report is a written report based on the findings of an inspection on a structure for visible and accessible evidence of an infestation or damage by wood destroying organisms. If an inspection is done for these purposes, the inspection must be reported on a specific report form, DACS 13645, as required by Florida Law.
- A WDO report tells the buyer if our inspector saw any evidence of the following:
- Live termites or other wood destroying organisms.
- Evidence of infestation by termites or other wood destroying organisms (including wood destroying fungi)
- Damage by termites or other wood destroying organisms.
- Previous treatment for termites or other wood destroying organisms, if visible.
- The inspector will report the common name of the wood destroying organism identified and the location of the evidence. If any areas are not accessible for inspection these areas and the reason they are inaccessible are reported. (For example, if an attic is not inspected, this must be noted and the reason must be put on the form).
It is very possible for termite or other WDO damage or infestations to be behind walls or in some other inaccessible location even in structures that receive "clear" reports. A "clear" report is a report that states that no evidence of wood destroying organisms infestation or damage was visible and accessible at the time of the inspection. It does NOT mean, however, that the buyer can be absolutely assured that there are no wood destroying organisms infesting the structure or that there is no hidden damage from termites or other wood destroying organisms.
Such an infestation or damage may be hidden (therefore not visible and accessible), or may have been repaired by the seller and therefore not visible and accessible to the inspector. Obtaining and reviewing documentation on previous termite treatment and protection contracts should also be an important part of the process. The only way to ensure that a home is safe from future termite damage is for the home to have been treated and bonded in the past or for it to be treated presently and to purchase a Full Repair and Retreatment bond.
Custom Pest Solutions will provide recommendations to eradicate any problems found. Speak to your realtor and your mortgage lender about the options for the buyer and the seller. If the damage needs to be repaired, they will guide you through their particular requirements. Once the damage is repaired, call us to schedule a re-inspection. If the property is then “clear” we will provide a new report to the mortgage lender.
Subterranean termites are the kind which causes the vast majority of damage to homes subterranean termites live in nests called colonies. They don't just live in wood like people think, but create colonies below the soil surface that may be as deep as 20 feet. Subterranean Termites travel through mud tubes to reach food sources. What they do is burrow underground, like ants, where they get the moisture they need to survive. They build their colony next to a source of wood for food, and then burrow from the earth into the wood, going back and forth between each.
Signs of a subterranean termite infestation:
- Mud tubes – mud-tubes are found on wooden surfaces and are made up of dirt as well as termite feces. Termites create this substance to patch holes in the exterior of wood when they eat away tunnels in the interior of that lead to the outside.
- Wings - When termites are swarming, they fly around and ultimately shed their wings. If termites have gotten into your house or near it after a swarm, you will see big piles of wings. Wings can be near your house either because a swarm has come by, or because your house is infested and the swarm came from inside.
- Actual termites. Termites can be seen either inside wood, in which case they usually look yellow or white, or outside as swarmers, in which case they look like flying ants. If your house constantly has swarms of termites near it, it is likely that you or someone nearby has a colony in the home.
- Termite tubes. These are little tunnels of earth running along a house that connect termites from their colonies in the earth to their food source. They run back and forth between the two using these tubes. When tubes are spotted, breaking them in one small spot will help you see if a colony is active since there will usually be little termites running around in it. If you don't see any termites immediately, check back after a few weeks since the tube will be repaired if the colony is active.
- Sawdust. Powder that looks like sawdust around your home is a common sign of termites.
- Exit holes. Small holes are found in the surface of the wood.
- Paint bubbles. Little bubbles on a wood surface that may be caused by termites eating the wood underneath.
- Hollow sound when tapping structural wood. Tap at wood with a hammer or blunt object. If it makes a hollow sound, there could be termites there. Check especially structural wood that should not be hollow (i.e., it's pointless to do this to your walls).
- Pick at wood with a penknife in various places. If there are termites just under the surface, it will come apart instead of resisting it.
- Check moist, dark areas. If you want to inspect your home for termites, you can't just wander around the outside of it. Termites want a place where they can get both moisture and food. Look in any crawl spaces or areas under your house, any attics, your basement, any place you have in your house where you can see plumbing or pipes, cabinets, and any place where you can see the foundation.
Signs of a Drywood termite infestation:
Drywood termites generally live (feed and nest) in undecayed wood which has very low moisture content. Unlike subterranean termites, they do not require any contact with the soil in order to live. Thus, they can seriously damage movable wooden objects such as furniture. Because of their ability to live in wood without soil contact, drywood termites are frequently carried in infested furniture and other wooden objects.
Entrance into wood is usually made from a crack or crevice which the termites can enter before boring into the wood. This may be a crack in the wood itself or may be the joint between two pieces of wood or even the space underneath roofing or sheathing paper. Small swarming flights occur during April through July, frequently after rains. Winged adults are dark brown and about 1/2-inch long. The white, soft-bodied nymphs remain in the galleries and are not seen unless the wood is broken open. Colonies are small (usually fewer than 1,000 individuals), can be widely dispersed, and take years to mature. but multiple colonies in the same piece of wood may contain up to 10,000 individuals.
During a visual inspection for drywood termites, inspectors look for feeding damage, shed wings, termite fecal pellets, and kickout holes, which are small holes the size of BB shot through which termites pushes fecal pellets out of the wood. Fecal pellets, hexagonal in shape, are diagnostic for drywood termites. However, whether the infestation is currently active or what the extent of the infestation is cannot be determined from pellets alone. One way to identify an active infestation is to clean up the fecal pellets around a kickout hole and then check a few days later to see if new pellets have appeared can help to determine if an infestation is active. (Building vibrations/movements may cause some pellets to appear.) If an active infestation of drywood termites is found in your structure, you should have it treated.
Drywood termites produce characteristic pellets. These pellets are eliminated from the galleries through “kick holes”. Pellets tend to accumulate on surfaces located below the kick holes and are usually the first evidence of a drywood termite infestation.
Drywood termites tend to cut across wood grain destroying both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth.
The primary reproductives, also called swarmers or alates, vary in body color from dark brown to light yellowish tan. Their wings may be almost clear to smoke gray, and have few distinct veins in them. Swarmer drywood termites are about 7/16 inch long, including the wings.
After a drywood termite colony has matured (several years), winged alates (swarmers) are produced that leave the colony to establish new colonies. Swarming activity (nuptial flights) generally occurs at dusk or during the night and they tend to fly towards areas of greatest light intensity, gathering around lights or illuminated windows