Termite Inspections

If you're buying a home, having the home inspected for termites beforehand is usually required by the lender before they approve the mortgage. The lender will require that you have a licensed termite inspection (as well as a general home inspection) performed before the sale is finalized.  

A termite inspection can also save buyers headaches later on if there are visible signs of termite damage that are found prior to the closing. The buyer definitely needs to know whether the home has an existing termite problem and the extent of the damage so they can decide whether to walk away from the deal or ask the seller to make the necessary repairs.

The termite inspection is typically an expense borne by the home buyer and it is definitely worth the price in the event that visible termite infestations are found. However, these inspections frequently fall short since visible signs of termite damage do not always mean that there isn’t an active termite problem.







Types of Termites

There are three termite types to worry about in the United States. Knowing the types helps you know where to watch out for termite invaders.


This type builds its colonies underground. They need contact with soil to maintain their moisture levels. A regular source of moisture is critical to a subterranean colony’s survival.

Subterranean termites are the most common type in the United States.

There are numerous species of subterranean termites – one of the most aggressive and destructive species are Formosan termites. They can form a carton nest above ground, limiting their need for ground contact.


This type colonizes in wood above ground. Unlike subterranean termites, they don’t need contact with soil to survive.


This type typically lives in damp and decaying wood. They require regular contact with water as well as a high humidity level to survive. Dampwood termites are the largest in size of the three types.

How Termites Spread

Termites are social insects and live in colonies with specific roles. There are workers, soldiers, reproductives and even queens.

As a colony matures, it may release winged males and females – or “swarmers.” If they survive, swarmers will settle, shed their wings and form a new colony.

Swarming season occurs in late spring through fall depending on the species and geographic location.


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