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Written By Callie Marsalisi|Last Updated: May 18, 2024

Homeowners face major threats from termites in Duluth, Minnesota—even though the area has lower rates of infestation than some other places, the results of a termite invasion can be devastating. These pests feast on and damage wood like trees and building materials, costing property owners a lot to fix the destruction. If termites are in your home, your first step should be contacting an established pest control company to schedule a termite inspection. Many local pest control providers can check for termites and advise specific treatment options to eliminate them and prevent new infestations.

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Services Offered by Termite Inspection Companies

Knowing what services termite inspection companies provide can help you make an educated selection that satisfies your short- and long-term needs. Many companies offer yearly assessments plus preventive solutions for consistent protection. Depending on your circumstances, this might be a better solution than only treating your termite problem once.

Exterior Inspection

When conducting inspections for termites, trained professionals look for visible damage around your home’s exterior. They focus extra on anything touching the ground, outdoor wood, and damp places where moisture could attract termites, such as the following
  • Cracks in expansion joints
  • Deadwood
  • Firewood stacks
  • Pooling water around the foundation
  • Standing water on the roof
  • Wood mulch close to the foundation
  • Wooden deck supports
  • Wooden fences
Indicators of termites include droppings, damaged wood, and mud tubes. If an inspector suspects termites are somewhere hard to see, they might drill small holes or use special tools to check for them.

Interior Inspection

Termite specialists usually pair an outdoor inspection with a detailed indoor inspection. Indoors, they concentrate on humid spots, potential entryways, and locations with wood or cellulose materials. They may inspect the following:
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Doorframes
  • Exposed beams or studs
  • Exterior walls
  • Hardwood floors
  • Under-sink cabinets
  • Windowsills
  • Wooden furniture
Signs of termites include shed wings, mud tunnels, and chewed wood, which usually makes a hollow sound when knocked on. The inspector may use a moisture meter and a probing tool to check for termite damage and termite-friendly conditions.

Treatment Recommendations

If termites are detected in your home, your pest control professional will suggest a personalized treatment plan to eliminate the termites effectively and safely. Nonchemical alternatives are available, including physical barriers, heat, and biological control methods like beneficial nematodes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates common chemical treatments such as liquid termiticides and baits. Liquid termiticides saturate the soil around your house to form a protective barrier. Baits contain cellulose laced with slow-acting insecticide. If these treatments aren't enough, you can schedule fumigation. Fumigation involves vacating your home, tenting it, and flooding it with a gas that’s lethal to termites. To fix your current termite situation, the pest control company might propose a multipronged strategy.

Future Vulnerabilities

Comprehensive termite inspections look at potential entry points as well as current issues. Inspectors search for leaks, wood-to-soil contact, and other things that could attract termites. The inspector may propose landscaping improvements or structural alterations to increase drainage and reduce potential entry points. Taking care of these issues will lower your risk of a future infestation.

Continuous Monitoring

Termite solutions sometimes need regular inspection, replacement, or reapplication to stay effective. Many exterminators offer continuing service plans that include annual or quarterly inspections for this reason. With this monitoring, technicians check for new or worsening termite activity. Part of this involves swapping out baits and reapplying liquid treatments when necessary. This recurring service cuts down on the chance of major damage and often comes with a warranty.

Termite Warranties

Termite inspectors frequently back their services with reservice warranties. These warranties will pay for the cost of follow-up visits to deal with the termites should they reappear in a given time period following the original service. Some pest control companies provide extra protection with a repair warranty. This includes fixes for any new termite damage after treatment.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Termite Inspector

Homeowners should consider several factors when choosing a termite inspector.
  • Cost: Contact at least three providers for quotes. Remember that some may need to inspect your home before providing an estimate.
  • Experience: A company’s time in business can indicate its knowledge and expertise. Companies with more industry experience can typically handle termites more efficiently.
  • Guarantees: Choose a company with guarantees or warranties that include reservice or repairs. Get the agreements in print for your records.
  • Licensing and insurance: Pest control professionals in Minnesota should hold an applicator license from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. It's also important to confirm that your provider is properly insured. Anyone who uses restricted-use pesticides must be registered as an applicator by the EPA.
  • Reputation and reviews: Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, browse online reviews, and get feedback from people you trust to understand customer satisfaction with companies you're considering. Strong customer feedback suggests you'll likely be satisfied with the service.

How Much Does a Termite Inspection Cost?

The cost of atermite inspection in Duluth is typically $41–$227. The exact rate depends on the company performing the inspection and your address. Many pest control providers offer free termite inspections to evaluate your specific situation. A provider can propose solutions and give a tailored estimate. After the inspection, you can select a single treatment or an ongoing service plan. Some providers include termite inspections with other home inspection services designed for people purchasing or selling a home. In this case, expect to pay an inspection fee.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Termite Control in Duluth

What are some signs of a termite infestation?

Indicators of a termite infestation include the following:
  • Discarded wings
  • Flying swarms
  • Frass (termite droppings)
  • Hollow-sounding wood
  • Mud tubes
  • Visible wood damage

How often should I have my home inspected for termites?

Ideally, your home should have a termite inspection once a year. Getting inspections done yearly is particularly recommended if your home is surrounded by trees, or you've previously dealt with termite activity.

What is the best way to prevent termites?

The best way to prevent termites is to avoid wood-to-soil contact, remedy moisture problems as soon as possible, and keep food sources away from your property. Use rubber mulch or rocks around the foundation of your home instead of wood mulch, and cut back shrubs and tree branches away from your house. Fix plumbing leaks promptly, and keep your gutters clear to ensure proper drainage.

What attracts termites?

Wet areas and untreated lumber attract termites looking for food. Cardboard and paper also are made of cellulose that termites eat.

What is the difference between termites and ants?

The primary difference between termites and ants is that termites consume through wood, while most ants do not, aside from the carpenter ant. Termites have straight antennae and a uniform waist, while ants have segmented antennae and a narrow waist. Termites stay more hidden than ants, which are often seen foraging for food.

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