For subterranean termites, the probability can be explained in a linear fashion: Y = x1 + x2 + x3 where Y= feeding and damage, x1 = wood decay, x2 = moisture content, and x3 = environmental conditions at the infestation site. Decayed wood is eaten faster and preferred over sound wood. Decayed wood promotes digestion and increases foraging.
When conditions are optimal for longer periods of time, larger colonies and larger individuals result. Spot treat using proper liquid termiticides or borate wood preservatives. Keep in mind, borate wood preservatives prevent the reuse of termite tunnels and decay of the infested wood.
As technology has evolved, so have the tools available for termite inspections — to even include X-ray devices. Although that particular device is not mandatory to conduct a proper inspection, there are others that are.
Never leave home without a flashlight, moisture meter, borescope-type visual equipment and a trusty screwdriver. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as kneepads, coveralls, a bump hat and leather gloves will help you perform inspections that require entering hard-to-reach areas.
If you decide to enter the market seriously and start to gain traction, the addition of remote thermal sensing equipment and/or a thermal image camera are also must-haves.
Read more of Dr. Ipser’s termite tips: