It's not uncommon for some pest control companies to offer a free termite check with a pest control service. It may sound like you’re getting a good deal, but it’s no more than a marketing ploy. In fact, the free termite check could end up costing you thousands of dollars. Here’s why…

What is a termite check?

A good question! It’s not a service specified in the license requirements, Australian Standards or covered in industry training. It’s simply a made-up service, so it’s a bit hard to say what’s involved. Typically, what happens is that whilst the pest treatment is being carried out, they are “keeping an eye out” for signs of termite activity. If you’re lucky, they may spend a dedicated ten minutes or so to do a quick look around the property. At the end of the service, you may get a single page checklist.

Check the small print (if it has any)… it will probably say that this does not replace the need for a complete termite inspection, etc. Basically, if there are termites and they failed to spot them, you’ll have no comeback. No insurance company covers mistakes and omissions that occur during “termite checks” as they are not a recognised service.

A termite check that doesn’t find termites can give homeowners a false sense of security, thinking their home is safe and sound, whilst it may be under termite attack. This is why the free termite check can cost thousands ­– missed termite activity can result in significant damage to the home before their presence is detected.

… which is why you need a professional termite inspection.

What’s involved in a professional termite inspection?

A comprehensive, professional termite inspection will take at least 1.5 hours for a smaller house on a concrete slab. Still, larger houses can take much longer, especially if they have a sub-floor and significant land surrounding the building. Given how long a proper termite inspection should take, you can understand that it’s not the service a self-respecting professional can give away for free.

A termite inspection is a comprehensive inspection of your home and surrounding property. It’s carried out room by room and includes roof void, sub-floor, garage and gardens, using a variety of termite detection equipment. Only a fully qualified, licensed and insured pest professional can carry out a termite inspection.

You’re protected with a professional termite inspection.

A detailed termite inspection with the resulting comprehensive report can easily be 20+ pages plus photos – provides information on termite activity, termite damage, and any conducive conditions that could make a termite attack more likely. They also include recommendations to make the property less attractive to termites and treatment options to provide long term protection.

Apart from having all the information on hand to protect your home from termites, having a professional termite inspection from a licensed, insured pest professional also protects you if the inspector happens to miss something. Their insurance will cover any costs due to any subsequent damage that may occur due to any oversight or error. This is important peace of mind and something you don’t get with a free termite check.

So, when you want to protect your home, likely to be your most valuable investment, it’s worth investing a few hundred dollars in getting a professional termite inspection from a trusted termite professional.