Mission Impossible: Find all evidence of termites

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March 18, 2022

PHOTO: CRobertson/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

PHOTO: CRobertson/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Pest management professionals (PMP) perform termite inspections for real estate transactions, warranty renewals and sales leads almost every day. One of the most dangerous instances a PMP has during the course of his or her busy day, however, is the moment evidence of a termite infestation is located.

By “dangerous,” I don’t mean life-threatening, like foiling the plots of evil villains in the Mission Impossible TV and movie series. Instead, the danger for a PMP lies in the temptation to stop inspecting once termites are found, and neglecting the remainder of the structure.

To avoid such temptation, complete the entire inspection and find all signs of termites. Sure, not all termite evidence is visible, but finding all visible evidence should be the true objective of any inspection. Only after the initial service objective is complete should a PMP move to the next phase of starting and closing the sale.

A comprehensive termite inspection is needed for two important reasons:

  1. Every visible sign of termites should be identified to ensure the client (the homeowner or the potential buyer) has the best information available to understand the extent of the infestation and make a decision about treatment options.
  2. Expensive termite retreats often occur because portions of the structure were neglected during the treatment.

So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find all the termite evidence in a structure. This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good luck.

About the Author

Dr. Jim Fredericks

You can reach Dr. Fredericks, VP of technical and regulatory affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), at jfredericks@pestworld.org.

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