I offer comprehensive, easy to read wood destroying insect inspection reports; commonly referred to as termite reports.
If you are a home owner and believe you have a termite problem I will be glad to perform a visual inspection of your home at no charge. If you require a second opinion I am also available to provide this at no charge. If a problem is found I will provide a written estimate upon request and, if I do the work, I will provide a warranty for the work done.
Termites! In my house….but it’s only two years old! I’ve heard this before, or; my neighbor has lived here for years and he says there are no termites in Arizona. Sadly this is not so. There is no need to panic because reasonable measures can be taken to solve these problems. The best way to deal with termites is to take steps to prevent a problem in the first place.
The occurrence of termites (mainly subterranean termites in this area) is simply a fact of life in Arizona. The statement is commonly used that there are two kinds of houses in Arizona; those that have had termites and those that will have termites. Subs, as they are referred to in the termite business, are a foraging insect. They are constantly in search of moisture and cellulose product and are quite opportunistic in their ability to discover both. If you are willing to provide what they need on your property they will be happy to be your guests. However, you would most likely prefer that they would visit elsewhere.
The following measures can be employed to help avoid creating conditions conducive to a subterranean termite infestation:
Make sure that leaking pipes or fixtures are repaired as soon as possible. Soil that is continuously kept damp is very attractive to subterranean termites.
Cracks in slabs or foundation walls, as small as 1/32”, can provide enough space for subs to enter a structure. This is a difficult circumstance to deal with as cracks are often in areas which are not accessible to visual inspection and in many cases cannot be repaired after the fact. This makes the first point regarding prevention of high moisture conditions more understandable. Combining high soil moisture with such an entry point is an invitation for subterranean termites.
Removing wood debris from around or under a house is a common sense measure to avoid providing a source of cellulose product.
Landscape irrigation systems should not be installed adjacent to a structure as this would provide a moisture source for subterranean termites and could dilute any soil treatment that has been applied to prevent subterranean termites. Heavy moisture near a foundation is also a structural issue that causes settling and possible cracking of the foundation.
Site grading should insure that water is directed away from a structure and that the grade level does not contact stucco or siding. Planters should not be constructed against stucco or siding. These surfaces are not water proof and provide direct entry for subterranean termites.
Trellises or fences attached to a structure also provide a direct link for subterranean termite entry and should either be isolated from the soil or the structure, preferably both.
Even if all of these measures are put into effect, conditions that are not apparent could enable entry by subterranean termites. If you notice any suspicious discoloration or softness on interior walls or what appears to be tubing that is sandy in appearance it would be best to contact a professional for positive identification. The sooner an infestation is discovered the easier it will be to treat. In any case subterranean termites are a problem that can be dealt with either before or after they occur.
Article by Jim Matter, JP Residential Services