High Priced Useless Termite Detection Tools-Moisture Meter

In my little sleepy town there is a myth that is being perpetuated just about everyday. Now thankfully it isn’t catching on like wild fire and it seems to only have one source but it has been the reason for many needless termite jobs and worried nights for home owners. The way this tool is used to promote this cheap sale is down right criminal in my book. The so called professional tells worried homeowners that termites need moisture and once they get above ground they will actually bring up this moisture into the wall voids so they can exploit the area and spend more time doing damage. So far nothing nefarious because this is all true. However, our seasoned pest control veteran then proceeds to claim that termites are the only reason there would be moisture in the wall and that if his little device beeps at all-it’s treatment time no ifs ands or buts. Of course his machine does its job and somewhere along a wall it beeps to high heaven and he walks out with a $1000 or more sale. Thing is, I’ve been called in on 2 of these situations by homeowners and couldn’t get my meters needle to even move let alone have it beep when I inspected the same area. Tsk Tsk, I’d love to see this guy get his but not only do the wheels of justice turn slowly-they also need a big push to just get started so he’s been free to do this for quite some time.

The myth is that by using a moisture meter you can without a doubt determine subterranean termites in a wall. Now before I go much further let me tell you I own a moisture meter and agree that it is a most valuable tool. I use it all the time and depend on the findings to identify locations where termite activity is highly likely. On the other hand I have found live, active and established areas of termites and used my meter to confirm what my eyes already told me but was astonished by the results. This is the second article of my High Priced and Useless Tools series- you may want to go back and see the other videos I’ve done to give you the exact details of what we’re dealing with.

Check this video out;

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • Wyvern_sp

    How is it a “High Priced Useless Termite Detection Tool”, when you yourself  ” use it all the time and depend on the findings to identify locations where termite activity is highly likely”
    The problem here is obviously with the person using the tool and not the tool itself. You could also note that this person is most likely not representative of all pest controllers, and that it is always wise to get a number of quotes and opinions when it comes to major expenses such as termite treatment.

  • Hey Wyvern- Thanks so much for your comment,

    I think I’m right to say you’re not happy with the title &/or the nefarious termite sales weasel in my article- so that makes me happy my point got across there. Because as you correctly highlighted I do use one and will continue to do so but the other point was to expose the myth (which I put in BOLD) that this tool was infallible because it indeed is not. My example in the video is a wall that had live, active, swarming subterranean termites in that same exact spot and the moisture meter didn’t even register a hint of a problem. If there is a technique or procedure I’m missing let me know because the moisture meter as well as many other High Priced tools like it let me and 1000’s of PCO’s down around the country everyday. Sure, they will do their job and you’ll have positive results too-thus the reason I own & use every piece of equip in this video series – but the day I rely on them solely and termites go unseen and then all of the turmoil that follows from the ‘discovery & damage’ that it (the machine) should have picked up on–on that day, they are high priced and useless.

    Thanks again for your comment – it’s nice hear someone stand up and say what they feel rather than just agree or click away and never say anything.

  • Hey Wyvern- Thanks so much for your comment,

    I think I’m right to say you’re not happy with the title &/or the nefarious termite sales weasel in my article- so that makes me happy my point got across there. Because as you correctly highlighted I do use one and will continue to do so but the other point was to expose the myth (which I put in BOLD) that this tool was infallible because it indeed is not. My example in the video is a wall that had live, active, swarming subterranean termites in that same exact spot and the moisture meter didn’t even register a hint of a problem. If there is a technique or procedure I’m missing let me know because the moisture meter as well as many other High Priced tools like it let me and 1000’s of PCO’s down around the country everyday. Sure, they will do their job and you’ll have positive results too-thus the reason I own & use every piece of equip in this video series – but the day I rely on them solely and termites go unseen and then all of the turmoil that follows from the ‘discovery & damage’ that it (the machine) should have picked up on–on that day, they are high priced and useless.

    Thanks again for your comment – it’s nice hear someone stand up and say what they feel rather than just agree or click away and never say anything.

  • I agree Wyvern!! I have been a termite inspector for 20 years and swear by a moisture meter. Can it be abused? Yes, of course it can by a dishonest inspector. Typically if subterranean termites are present in a wall than the moisture level will be much higher than it should be and this can easily be shown by running the meter along the wall to pick up areas where termites are present and moisture is higher. Subterranean termites build MUD tunnels. What is in MUD? MOISTURE!!!

  • Thank you for your comment