Quality of Life in Cupertino>Question Details

Manisha,  in Cupertino, CA

How often do we need to do termite inspection?

Asked by Manisha, Cupertino, CA Wed Sep 12, 2007

We are told that we need to do it after every 5 yrs

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19
Manisha, I would suggest perhaps a bit more often than that. I often go into properties that have had termite work and inspections done just 1 or 2 years before, and there is often termite activity and damage to the property. Most companies guarantee their work for a minimum or 1 year, some 2 years. When my clients buy a home, I remind them to have the home re-inspected just before the end of the year- so that if there is any termite issues the company who took care of it when they bought it can re-do the work that was guaranteed. After 5 years you may have more cost in work needed than it would cost for you to do annual "termite maintenance."

It may be that we have a bit more termite activity down here in the San Diego area than you do, but I am speaking from what I see on a weekly basis here. Often, after just 1 or 2 years I have seen 750-1500 in damage.

They are hungry little suckers!

Patti Phillips
800-680-9133
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
If your pest control company only guarantees for a year or two, I would have my place checked for termites long before five years is up. I want to avoid termite damage as much as possible. It's a lot easier to prevent damages from being done than it is to fix a problem once it has developed. Hopefully, there won't be any problems at your house. http://www.blackandwhitepestcontrol.com.au/pre-purchase-home-inspections
Flag Thu Feb 19, 2015
I would suggest calling a pest control company and asking them. They should know how long, depending on your area, that you should have yours checked. I think this would be the best way to figure it out. I would try giving someone around your area a call as soon as you can. http://www.modestoareapestcontrol.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2015
I don't think 5 years is a good rule of thumb. Did you get a section I clearance when you bought the home? Was it fumigated (tented) at the time? Was there a treatment for subterranean termites (not treatable by fumigation)? Did you replace any floors or shower enclosures when you bought the house?

A termite inspector is looking for 'wood destroying pests and organisms.' That includes termites but it also includes fungus, dry rot, carpenter bees, and a few other bugs that eat wood.

I would inspect every two years or more often if you see activity around the house like: mud tubes or pellets in the crawlspace, discoloration or sponginess to wood trim and eaves, etc. Wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms are the most prone to having problems. Keep an eye on your flooring around toilets, showers, and tubs.

You will almost always find termites in fences and decks, even if they have been recently installed. If there is no direct connection to the house (deck or fence attached to wall of house) or metal flashing has been installed in those areas, you should be fine.

Termites love our climate and the fact that Santa Clara was almost all orchards and vineyards 100+ years ago doesn't help. Avoid nationally advertised pest control companies and get a recommendation from your agent as to a fair and reasonable termite company. There are only a handful of companies I trust and a larger number that I don't.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 24, 2009
It is recommended in our area that you have a termite and moisture inspection yearly, due to the fact we have high humidity, I would recommend you contact a pest control company and have them come out and do an inspection and sign a contract with them to maintain this ongoing. Joan
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
How often have you ended up getting one over the last 8 years?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 19, 2015
Suggest you inspect see if you have a problem?
We had no issues until next door neighbor brought the problem to everyone.

That was 8 years ago. I watch it. No issues. There are preventive measurements one needs to
do minimize the exposure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 19, 2015
Hi Manisha,

IF you had a termite inspection, and treatment done when you purchased a home, they would sometimes have a warranty period that you could look up. I know a local termite company that I could get more details from. Please email me regarding if you have stucco or wood outside, and if you haver a slab or raised foundation. I would want to give them as much info as possible.

Kind regards,

Arpad
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 28, 2015
I would talk to two people about this. First, talk to a real estate agent about termite inspections. They seem to know more about how that kind of thing works. Then, I would talk directly to a termite inspector and ask what he thinks. http://www.frontlinetpc.com.au
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 27, 2015
Since termite infestation is most common problem in every home, I would therefore say to have routine termite inspections to make sure that home isn't infested. Though there are no set rules for termite inspection, I would recommend having an expert come out once a year to check for termites and termite damage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
At least every 2 years, if not every year. Most companies will give you a free inspection anyway. If you already have a general pest control company (for ants, spiders, etc..), they will usually offer an annual inspection as part of their service. If they don't, you may want to check around.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 27, 2013
Just in case you need a blank form of Annual Inspection Form I found this form with some tutorials with few related forms http://goo.gl/78V7Ok.
Flag Mon Jan 19, 2015
No set of rules. Termite contract often has warranty.

-Is your home framed or have stucco?
-Do you keep the sub-floor free of H2O drainage?
-Do you clear the home away from wood?

If you do not notice termite poop, tube or have water damage, kitchen, bath. You may not
need an inspection. A termite inspector charges around $150 or less.

Sam Shueh
Keller Wms Cupertino Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 21, 2013
It depends on what type of termite protection you are using. If you have the total termite protection from a company such as Truly Nolen, then it only needs to be inspected once a year. If you have the bait traps, then the pest control company usually checks them quarterly.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
tammyhayesre@gmail.com
941-276-6185
http://www.tammyhayes.remaxagent.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 19, 2013
Manisha,

We feel you should seek additional information. Our service provider has recommended annual inspections and treatment. This seems to be pretty standard in our location.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 14, 2009
The people in the trade jokingly said. "It only take 1 male/female termite to start another colony! "

Is your home isolated from firewood? Is your garage wood divider away from the house?
Do you have gutter down sprouts water diversion to keep crawlspace /foundation dry?

Assuming it was tented before and you are concerned with possible infestation, best is use a screwdriver
and a flash light to look for debris and ingested wood saw dust. Bang on the wood to see any debris or sign of termite evidence. An inspector will make make a similar inspection and find more.

I have seen termites start invading house exterior within 6 months after it was tented and had barrier surrounded the house. Concentrated Clorax eliminated that nest.

If you already see termites flying in and out of your house or see neighbors having their house tented. Don't procrastinate. It means trouble ahead.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
The people in the trade joking said it only take 1 male/female termite to start another colony.

Is your home isolated from firewood? Is your garage wood divider away from the house?
Do you have gutter down sprouts water diversion to keep crawlspace /foundation dry?

Assuming it was tented before and you are concerned with possible infestation, best is use a screwdriver
and a flash light to look for debris and ingested wood saw dust. Bang on the wood to see any debris or sign of termite evidence. An inspector will make do a similar inspection.

I have seen termites start invading house exterior within 6 months after it was tented and had barrier surrounded the house. Concentrated Clorax eliminated that nest.

If you already see termites flying in and out of your house or see neighbors having their house tented. Don't procrastinate. It means trouble ahead.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
It depends, some houses never get termites, some houses seem to get them continually as though they are "prone." Biannual inspection is good, but to be fair, pay a reasonable fee for the service. Watch out for the "free termite inspections". No business can stay solvent sending inspectors out all day everyday to crawl under houses for free. You are at the mercy of the inspector who may be paid on commission. If they go under your house and then come out saying there's something expensive down there, a second opinion might be wise, or go confirm it yourself. Conversely, a termite company that is providing a warranty against infestation would prefer not to find anything they are responsible for as there is no money in it for them. Maybe they won't be looking so hard. Termite inspectors are only human, sometimes they make mistakes, especially the rookies. When confronted with a situation where the inspector is uncertain whether an infestation is present, they may recommend a treatment just to "CYA".
Prevention is best. Do not invite termites. Correct any conducive conditions, especially earth to wood contact, and you are much less likely to suffer damage. For subterranean termites, I believe a preventative treatment is better for the customer than a control service. Choose a termiticide that is non-repellent and has the longest residual. I like "Termidor". For drywood termites about all you can do to prevent infestation is to paint and seal the dickens out of the exterior of your home, and possibly treat the substructure with a borate product. Termites do not like paint and borates, your house won't taste good. Other than this, they are tough to keep out especially along the waterways where the air is moist and they thrive.
Good luck,
Tim the termite guy
At Your Service Structural Pest Control, PR5730
http://timthetermiteguy.com
Web Reference: http://timthetermiteguy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Some pest control companies have annual contracts for wood destroying insect check and treatment. The contracts that I have seen have a low annual fee that provides for 1x yr inspection. If treatment is needed, there is no additional fee. Some restrictions apply; such as compliance with the annual inspection. Such service might be offered by a pest control company near you.

Even without a service contract in place, 1x yr is a good practice standard. This would still not provide any guarantees, as termites or other wood destroying insects could start to settle 2 weeks after the most recent inspection. From a practical standpoint, 1x a year is a good guideline. If visual inspection warrants something sooner, act accordingly.

Most property owners probably do not have annual inspections, given the info that appears on property disclosures. It would be better if more did, as buyers almost always inspect for termites, and we do see infestation reports and treatment required.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
In GA a yearly treatment requires only a yearly inspection, Sentricon is a bated system that is checked 1/4ly
In GA the advice is inspect every year. Check with your local Reator for CA
Web Reference: http://www.TeamRenton.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2007
Great answer Patti.

The problem with termite is that everthing can be great but then they can be here in one day - it could be just because of how the wind brings them over. Your neighbors could all be clean but they'd hit just that one house.

Other than the real pest (termite), they also check on anything wood related items such as dry rot underneath various surfaces. .

Anything discovered ealier can be controlled much easier than when the damages become extensive.

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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