Q: How do I know if I have termites?
A: "By the time most people see signs of termites, the damage may already be done. The best thing to do is get a termite inspection every other year. Trained inspectors not only know what to look for and are able to spot signs of a termite infestation before a homeowner; they can enter crawlspaces and other locations where you usually see the first signs of termites."
Q: Is there a way to prevent termite infestations?
A: "Unfortunately, there’s no way to make a house completely termite-proof. The best course of action is routine maintenance, like keeping your house painted and caulking its cracks. Also, during the course of regular maintenance, you’re more likely to spot problems. Have your house inspected by a professional every other year and apply treatment if the inspector recommends it."
Q: How long does it take to schedule an inspection?
A: "It depends on our workload at any given time. Sometimes we can schedule an appointment for the next day or even for that afternoon if we’ve had a cancellation. Other times, it may take up to two weeks. If your schedule is flexible, we can usually accommodate you sooner."
Q: Is fumigation the only effective treatment for termites?
A: "No. Fumigation is only effective for dry wood termites and beetles, but it’s not the only available treatment. In some cases, local treatments may be the better choice. Also, fumigation isn’t effective against subterranean termites."
Q: How long does fumigation take? Does it leave behind a toxic residue?
A: "Fumigation typically takes two-and-a-half to three days—if we start on a Monday, you could be back in the house on Wednesday evening. The fumigant is an odorless, colorless gas, not a mist or spray. There’s actually a warning agent that’s added to it so you know when you’re exposed, much like the gas company adds an odor to natural gas so you can smell a leak. The fumigant doesn’t leave behind any residue or odors."
Q: Is orange oil effective and Green?
A: "Even though it’s been heavily marketed lately, orange oil is nothing new—it’s been available as a termiticide for more than 10 years. We used it many years ago, but we weren’t satisfied with the number of ‘call backs’ we had when it wasn’t successful in controlling the infestations the first time. It’s a Green rated product and gets a lot of hype because it’s advertised as ‘natural,’ which is true, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t toxic. It’s safe to use, but it’s not as effective as some of the other products available for local treatment of drywood termites, and it’s actually more toxic than some of the other products available. There are newer treatment products that are more effective."
Q: Do you use any Green products?
A: "We use Bora-Care, which is Green rated. It’s primarily used to treat and prevent wood rot fungus and treat areas where there’s rot growth, but it also kills termites. It’s very effective as a preventative treatment of framing material in new construction, but it can also be used in existing structures to treat accessible areas of active infestation."
Q: Do you offer free inspections?
A: "We offer a limited inspection at no charge, but we charge for full inspections. A proper full inspection for termites and wood rot can take several hours. The inspector has to go into every nook and cranny, get into the attic, go underneath the structure, and carefully inspect the interior and exterior. If someone is offering that for free, it’s probably because the inspector is a commissioned salesperson who will try and sell you their services. Our inspectors aren’t commissioned—their job is to perform a thorough and accurate inspection and provide you with the information you need. When you pay us to do an inspection, we’re working for you, not trying to sell you additional services. If your home doesn’t need treatment, we’ll tell you that. We do conduct limited inspections for free. A limited inspection is when you see signs of termites or rot. We’ll come out, confirm it and give you an estimate for treatment services. Limited inspections only take a few minutes, and since they almost always result in treatment being recommended, we conduct them for free."