Thorough inspections can determine whether infestations and damage are present, whether remedial control measures are needed, and what conditions can encourage termite attack. Inspections can be performed by anyone who knows the basic building construction elements, the environmental requirements for termite survival and the behavior of subterranean termites. However, the specific knowledge required for these pre-requisites generally requires a qualified Pest Inspector certified for termite inspections, which is most advisable considering the risk of damage caused by these pests.
The most basic tools and equipment needed for an inspection include a flashlight, ice pick or sharp-pointed screwdriver, ladder and protective clothing (bump cap, coverall, rubber knee pads). The sharp-pointed instruments are used to physically probe the building materials, causing noticeable damage that must be repaired and inconvenience to the building owner and potentially causing termites to evacuate any probed area of their infestation.
A moisture meter is used to detect increased moisture levels in the shelter tubes hidden behind walls, as well as high moisture conditions that encourage subterranean termite infestations.
Thermal imaging technology is often used to identify and locate Termite Risk Areas and possible problems, but is not suited to confirming the presence of termites and structural damage. In addition, Thermal Imaging Cameras are only effective in identifying large masses of termite infestations, such as a large sub-nest or predominant mud-leads. Small traces and early stage infestations of termites can often be very difficult, if not impossible, to identify with the average industrial grade Thermal Imaging Camera. Therefore, thermal imaging technology cannot be used as a stand-alone termite and pest control tool.
The most popular technologies accompanying a Thermal Imaging Camera in a Pest Control Technicians tool kit include the Moisture Meter and the Termite Detection Radar invented by Termatrac. These technologies are popular because the can actually determine and confirm termite activity without any physical penetration and damage caused to building structures. Additionally, the termite detection radar is able to detect a single termite, thereby making it the most effective and accurate technology available to detect, locate and confirm the presence of termites. The Termatrac T3i revolutionizes the pest control industry by combining these three essential tools into the one device; a Remote Thermal Sensor with Laser Guide, a Moisture Sensor and the Termite Detection Radar.
Other less technical devices commonly used to inspect for termite infestation include CO2 Meters, Borescopes, and Video-scopes, however these require penetration holes and other damage of building structures to enable device access to behind building surfaces.
"Without the Termatrac termite radar we would have frequently missed finding termites during inspections. Also it is invaluable in pinpointing the spot to drill or split open timber and plasterboard prior to dusting treatments."
Stephen Gronow, All Care Pest Control Australia Pty Ltd (QLD, Australia)