If you own a home, it is a good idea to hire an independent professional pest inspection service at some point. The home should be inspected for all wood destroying insects, including subterranean and drywood termites, long-horned wood borers, metallic wood borers, powder post beetles, bostrichid beetles, anobiid beetles, wood boring weevils, carpenter ants, acrobat ants, odorous house ants, velvety tree ants and carpenter bees. All of the ants mentioned can cause very minor damage in some instances in homes but they should be noted. A competent inspector should be able to diagnose an infestation of any of these groups of insects by examining any exit holes in wood or any wood frass found in the area.
Most household pests you can control yourself but wood destroying insects can be difficult. In some cases if you have a crawl space under your home you can get an insect prevention treatment done which would include termites and other wood eating insects. This can be done without using toxic pesticides.
How is the inspection performed? The inspection is a careful visual examination of all accessible areas of the building to determine the presence of wood destroying insects and other pests. This includes inspecting the outside of the structure and the crawl space, if one is present. It should also include the inspection of permanently attached storage sheds, decks, porches, etc.
The inspector should indicate all visible evidence of wood destroying insects and any conditions conducive to an infestation. Conducive conditions would be wood making direct contact with the soil or wood or paper products stored in the crawl space.
A good inspector will not only be able to determine if you have an existing infestation of a pest, but should be able to help you solve the problem without contaminating your home with pesticides. Some companies would recommend spraying the inside of a home before you move in to kill any pests present. I believe that spraying pesticides for unknown pests is a foolish idea and may endanger your family and pets. Pesticides are not safe under any circumstances and should never be used in your homes. There are very few pests that are so insidious that they require the application of pesticides in the home. There are safe alternatives to control any household pest. The periodic use of pesticides around the outside of the home is okay and should be all that any pest control company does on a routine basis. They should never use pesticides in a home (or commercial building) unless there are extenuating circumstances that require it.
How do you pick a company to do an inspection for your home? Most companies that do termite control also do these inspections. It would be better if you can hire someone who isn’t with a termite control company to do the inspection, someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in finding termites or other wood destroying pests. If you would like a reference for someone who can help you with these inspections, please let me know and I can recommend several people. I also will do independent Inspections for home owners if you live in New Mexico.