In most cases, you can avoid dealing with insect treatments or inspections until you start to see a few signs of possible problems. The one exception is termites. They can do too much damage before you notice them, so it can be smart to have a regular inspection done by a professional on a regular basis.
Talk to a local specialist and see what your options are. An exterminator would know the best approach. Though local knowledge is ideal, you can be informed with a few important tips about termite inspections, including some special situations around the holiday season.
Check your location
Before you start to make plans for a future inspection schedule, you should take your location into consideration. If you are living in Alaska, you can probably pass on the inspections entirely, otherwise all other states have some level of termite risk.
High-risk areas like South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia and Florida should take extra care in watching for termites. These areas may want to work with a biannual (twice a year) inspection schedule to be on the safe side. Most other states are going to be fine by scheduling an annual inspection by a professional.
You should also consider your specific property before deciding. Are you surrounded by wooded space, possibly with dead trees and stumps that could be harboring termite colonies? Or do you live in a townhouse, surrounded by sidewalks and concrete? These situations each change your inspection needs. Even in a termite-heavy region like Florida, you can probably stick with an annual inspection if the latter scenario applies.
There is one time of the year where you may be opening up your home more than you realize to a potential termite invasion, depending on your decorating tastes. If your family prefers a real tree at Christmas, you might actually be bringing more into your home than just holiday cheer.
Generally, termites aren’t a huge problem with Christmas trees as they are not that partial to healthy wood nor the strong aromatic oils that you find in pine or spruce. So if you have lugged a healthy evergreen into your home, you probably don’t need to worry too much about termite visitors that have come in with it.
On the other hand, there are a large number of other insects that could very easily be traveling in those green boughs. Even in cold climates, bugs can be hibernating under the bark, and will happily wake up and move into a warm home. There isn’t much you can do except pay close attention to your tree, and vacuum the nearby surroundings frequently to catch any bugs that are showing up.
So whether you decide on annual or 6-month schedules, you don’t have to worry about too much disruption. These types of termite inspections usually take less than an hour and don’t involve anything intrusive or toxic. It’s just a pest control specialist taking a close look around your house, with the expertise to see the signs you might miss.