Termite Inspection

What is a Termite Inspection?

A termite inspection is performed by a state licensed Branch 3 Inspector. He/she would visually inspect the accessible exterior and interior of the structure. This would also include attics, sub-areas and/or basements. At the conclusion of the inspection a Termite Report (Wood Destroying Pests and Organisms Inspection Report) would be provided to the owner/agent. Outlined in the Report would be the Findings and Recommendations of the inspector.

Is an Escrow Termite Report different?

No. All Termite Reports contain the same information, mainly the Findings and Recommendations. These F&R’s are listed as Section I and Section II categories. Section I F&R’s call out wood destroying pests, wood destroying pest damage, and fungus/dry rot wood damage. Section I items have to be cleared in all most all escrows in order to close. Section II F&R’s call out conditions that could lead to possible infestations or wood damage such as earth to wood contact, loose toilets, faulty grade, etc.

How long does an inspection take?  

The average termite inspection of a 3bedroom  2bath home takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes for a thorough inspection, depending on the size of the attic and if there is a crawlspace/sub area.

Inspecting termite damage

What is the inspector looking for?

The termite inspection is an inspection for wood-destroying termite infestations/termite damaged wood and fungus/dry rot wood damage. The inspector is also looking for other types of wood destroying insects, such as powerpost beetles, carpenter ants and carpenter bees.

What do termites look like?  

Dry wood and Subterranean termite colonies consist of three different castes–reproductives, workers and soldiers. All of the worker termites are generally creamy white in appearance and are translucent, looking very much in size, shape and color as a grain of rice.  The reproductives, or “swarmers,” have a pair of even-sized wings and are often mistaken for flying ants. Dry woods are redish brown, Subterranean’s are black in color. .  The soldiers are also similar except for their oversized heads and large, crushing mandibles but no wings.

What is the difference between carpenter ants and termites? 

There are a number of differences between carpenter ants and termites.  The body shape of a carpenter ant is like an hourglass–it narrows between the abdomen in the rear and the thorax in the front.  The body of a termite is more cigar-shaped without the narrowing between the front and back halves of the body.  When wings are present, carpenter ants have larger wings in the front and smaller wings in the back, whereas termite “swarmers” have relatively equal-sized wings.  Carpenter ant wings are less “veiny” than termite wings.  Also, ant wings have a stigma (dark spot) on the leading edge of the front wing, and termite wings do not.

Carpenter ant antennae are bent or curved, while termite antennae are relatively straight.  Also, termites eat the wood they tunnel through and ants do not.

How do you treat termites? 

There are several methods available to treat termites. Tent fumigation is the most common treatment for dry wood termites. They also can be local treated with a variety of methods. A chemical treatment is the most common treatment type available for Subterranean termites.  The goal of a Subterranean termite chemical treatment is to place a virus termiticide  between the termite colony (usually in the soil) and wood in a building. Technicians trench the soil and inject termiticide beneath it.

Could there be hidden termite damage? 

Absolutely!  One of the main characteristics of termites is their tendency to avoid open air and bright lights, meaning they will stay in wood products.  It is almost impossible for an inspector to visually an active termite infestation just by looking at the finished surface of a wall or the accompanying trim.

Why do I have to treat if there are no live termites?  

If there is evidence of a termite infestation and no evidence of a termite treatment having been done, the inspector must report that the infestation is active, which means in need of treatment, even though no live insects were discovered.

Does the termite inspection cover all types of wood-destroying organisms?  

The Inspection Report covers inspections of termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, re-infesting wood-boring beetles and fungus/dry rot.  The inspection does not include mold and mildew.

Is a termite inspection included with the cost of a general home inspection?

No, it is not.  The initial cost of a general home inspection does not include any other inspections.

What do they look for in a termite inspection?

termite inspection is a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of a home for evidence of wood-destroying insects. The inspector will visually inspect the entire interior of a home (including accessing and entering any sub-space such as attics, basements and crawlspaces) and exterior of the property. Most lending institutions require that homes in California be inspected for wood destroying pests and organisms (WDO) before financing a home loan. 

 How many days is a termite inspection good for?

The official termite certification document may be referred to as a wood-destroying organisms report (WDOR or WDIR), official wood infestation report or clearance letter. Where termite reports are required by the state or by a lender, the report typically must be dated within 30 days of closing. 

How much does it cost to have a termite inspection?

subterranean termitesTermite inspections are performed during required real estate transactions and anytime a homeowner suspects a pest infiltration. Typical costs: When part of real estate closing costs, termite inspections run $65-$100 and include a Wood Destroying Insect Report which contains two parts. 

What is a termite clearance?

When the lender requires termite clearance, they require “Section 1” clearance. … Lenders do not require Section 2 clearance, which are those conditions present which are likely to lead to infestation or damage. In Los Angeles, it’s customary for the seller to pay for Section 1 and the buyer t pay for Section 2 work.Jan 14, 2010