With all the things you can DIY these days, you may be wondering if you can DIY a termite inspection of your home. Okay, sure, you can, if you know exactly what to look for and where to look. That said, you will have to get down and close to some of the dirtiest, darkest, and dankest places in your home. Are you ready for that? Good, then here is where to look and what to look for.
Check Along the Foundation and Peel up the Siding
Look all along your foundation for these pests. Peel up the first foot or so of siding, right where the bottom of the siding meets the top of the foundation. The termites themselves will scatter and hide the minute sunlight hits them, but you might be able to spot a lazy one or two. If you do not see any of the bugs, but you do see wood chewed away and a bit of sawdust, you may have uncovered one of their nests.
Head into the Basement
Head into your basement next. Look into every corner and every dark nook and cranny. If there are places where no light shines, you will have to use your trusty flashlight to peer in. Get as close to these nooks, crannies, dark corners and dark spaces, but be careful! There are lots of other more dangerous pests that like the dark, dank spots too, including the insidious brown recluse spider! While looking for termites, be on the lookout for signs of other pests so you can avoid toxic bites and surprise tag-alongs by pests you do not want to be anywhere near.
Crawl into the Crawlspace, If Applicable
If you saw no signs of the termites anywhere in the basement, they must be hanging out elsewhere. Crawl into your crawlspace. Again, be very careful and wary of where you put your limbs and yourself. It is always a good idea to be fully covered and suited up with coveralls, gloves, helmet or hat, and a face shield. (Think "beekeeper," and you will be adequately covered.)
Termites LOVE crawlspaces because crawlspaces provide termites with:
- A dark space out of sunlight
- A cool space to build a comfortable nest
- Easy access to all of the wood in your home
- A means to escape into a subterranean nest, if and when necessary
If you spot holes bored into wood under the crawlspace, see if you can poke the holes with a pin. You will end up with nothing, a termite larva (ew!), or an adult termite happily munching along. Once you find ANY evidence of termites, it is time to call the pest exterminator, such as All Clear Exterminating.