Don’t Ever Buy a House Without It: Termite Inspection

If you’re buying a new house, there are lots of check boxes you’ll have to make sure you tick off, from finance-related items to those related to the condition of the home. One of the pieces of information you’ll want to make sure to have (and many lenders require it) is a termite inspection report. Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year.[1] So you want to be sure that your home is free of, and protected against, termites.

When you are buying a newly constructed home, you should receive a certificate from a pest control company that a termite control preconstruction treatment has been performed. The pest control company will have dug a trench around the foundation of your home and treated it with a termiticide, most likely a repellant chemical barrier.

When you are buying a home that is not new, you’ll want to make sure that you order a termite inspection. When you submit an offer, make the offer contingent upon a satisfactory termite inspection. Again, many lenders – including the FHA and VA – will require you to have a termite inspection before they provide you with a mortgage. But even if not, it is absolutely critical that you have the inspection done.

The inspector must be licensed, and will use a standard termite inspection form called the Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) Inspection Report. The inspector will visually inspect all accessible areas of your home, including the basement, crawlspace, attic, garage, exterior, and porch. According to the report form, the inspection will include “probing and/or sounding of unobstructed and accessible areas to determine the presence or absence of visual evidence of wood destroying insects.”

But, it’s important to remember that a termite inspection report does not guarantee that the home does not have a termite infestation or termite damage. From the form: “Wood destroying insect infestation and/or damage may exist in concealed or inaccessible areas. The inspection firm cannot guarantee that any wood destroying insect infestation and/or damage disclosed by this inspection represents all of the wood destroying insect infestation and/or damage which may exist as of the date of the inspection.”

If the termite inspection finds an active infestation of subterranean termites, the FHA and VA require treatment. Treatment is recommended if signs of termites (but no activity) are found and the house has not been treated for termites in the past. For do-it-yourself termite control treatments, ePestSolutions has a range of products to meet your needs.



Monica Bird (949 Posts)

Monica’s compassion for her customer's struggles with pest control issues and passion for pest control stems from over 10 years in the industry. With a master’s degree in entomology, she uses her knowledge and experience in chemistry, insects and pests to educate her customers.