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Having regular termite inspections carried out on a property may not be important in Alaska where termites obviously cannot survive the subarctic conditions, but termite pests are active in every other US state. Northeast states, like Massahusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey are located within a “moderate to heavy” termite activity zone where homes should be inspected for termite pests and termite damage once or twice per year depending on location. Since termites are always active beneath soil or within wood where they cannot be seen, locating termite pest infestations is not easy without professional help. Pest control professionals are trained to know how subterranean termite pests behave, they are familiar with the environmental conditions that the pests require, and they understand how structural aspects of different homes influence termite pest activity. While many pest control professionals possess high-tech termite detection equipment, they normally only need a few simple tools to pinpoint an infestation.

While conducting termite inspections, pest control professionals are always wearing protective clothing, and their main tools include a ladder, flashlight, and an ice pick or sharp-pointed screwdriver. Tapping the sharp-pointed tool against structural wood reveals if the wood is hollow, and therefore, if the wood has been eaten away by termites. Pest control professionals also use an electronic stethoscope-like device to amplify the sounds made within structural wood. These devices are generally known as acoustical detectors, and they allow pest controllers to hear the sounds made by active termites. Pest control professionals also use fiber optic borescopes to visually observe termite pest activity within wall voids and other obscured areas. Some termite detection equipment even measures methane levels in homes, as termite colonies emit copious amounts of methane gas. Termite motion detectors have been used with success, but the fanciest termite detection equipment makes use of x-ray and infrared technology. In addition to some of these items, pest control professionals sometimes find it necessary to have an architectural blueprint of the houses that they inspect for termite pests.

Do you think that termite detection technology will advance beyond its current stage?