Thermal Imaging Termites & Infrared Technology

Termite soldier
Photo by antisense
A termite infestation can be very hard to detect. At this very moment, termites could be crawling beneath the surface of your floor or in the walls beside you, yet you would not be able to tell. In fact, many people who have a termite infestation don’t actually notice their problem for many months, allowing extensive damage to occur. The key to termite control and treatment is catching the insects early, before they have managed to cause much destruction.

This is all because termites are mostly subterranean creatures – they prefer to live underground. Termites need moisture for their soft skin which will dry out quickly if they are exposed to the air. They are also sensitive to light and will prefer to stay in dark hidden corners. By concealing themselves underneath the surface of some wood or home they also protect themselves from any potential predators. All these things combined makes it very difficult to detect termites unless you dig beneath the surface of your walls or floors.

Luckily, there is a better way – infrared technology. Termite companies have recently be using infrared technology also known as thermal imaging equipment to detect any potential termites in the home. Infrared technology works because it detects heat and you might have seen it before on tv – it’s where an image is displayed only showing the surrounding heat signatures in different colours. Usually red and orange will be very hot, yellow warm, green cooler and blue cold. An infra red technology camera which uses such a thermal image is used to detect termites. This camera will film the whole home scanning for any heat spots.

But why use infrared technology on termites, aren’t they too small?

Termites give off quite a bit of heat and moisture. Whilst they may be tiny, and by themselves not much to look at – rarely are they alone. When hundreds or even thousands of termites are behind your wall, a noticeable difference in temperate can be recorded, well at least to the camera.

If such an heat source is discovered on the thermal imaging equipment, then the second stage of the inspection process starts. A small hole will be drilled into the wall and through this hole a small camera inside a long thin wire with a light attached will be inserted. This camera is similar to the cameras and wires used by doctors when they perform surgery. Once inside, the camera can be used to see how extensive the termite damage is in that location.

The infrared method of detection is a much more high-tech and expensive method of termite inspection but the quality of the inspection is better and the potential damage caused is reduced. Because of this, infra red technology is being increasingly used in termite inspections. However, I wouldn’t be concerned if you are not offered an infrared technology inspection. The traditional methods that involve looking for the warning signs of a termite infestation are also very effective for most termite inspections.