Do I Really Need a Termite Inspection?

avatarthumbnail.jpgIt’s a word that strikes fear in the hearts of home buyers – termites. For most buyers, the mere mention conjures images of Looney Tunes cartoons where a little insect devours a wooden credenza in 35 seconds.

The reality’s just a little different. In fact, the appearance of subterranean termites (the kind seen most often here in the desert) rarely is a harbinger of doom if treated quickly and correctly.

And that’s why, whether your lender requires it or not, it’s worth spending the $65 to $75 dollars to find out if your soon-to-be house has termites (or as the contract reads, “wood-destroying orgamisms.”)

Here’s what the inspector is looking for:


That little mud tube in the corner tells you that you’ve got guests. Treatment is fairly straightforward – usually “drill and trench” treatment will take care of the problem. An exterminator digs a trench in the soil around the house, drills small holes in the concrete at intervals and injects a foam barrier that separates the termites from the soil they need to survive. Those inside the barrier die, those outside the barrier move on.

Which is why partial treatments sometimes can be ineffective – spray here and the termites will move over a few feet. It’s much better to send them to your neighbor’s house than elsewhere in your own home.

Again, unless required by your lender there’s nothing that says you need to have a termite inspection. But for the slight cost – extremely slight compared to what you’re spending on the home – wouldn’t you want to make sure you’re alone when you move in?

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Dean Ouellette 9 years ago

    When I moved here 3 years ago I would have never thought that termites were a problem. Now after dozens of home inspections there is no way I would buy I house personally in az without one

  • M Realty 9 years ago

    I suppose that is one of the reasons that real estate is so very local. Here in Portland it is important to have mold inspections because mold can quickly rot a house away from the inside out to the point where you have to have entire walls replaced. There is also the respiratory issues that mold causes for many people if it is present in a home. You have termites, we have mold, and my buddy who just helped his mom retire to Florida is dealing with roaches in the basement (another bug that I am happy to avoid while living in the northwest).


  • Jonathan Dalton 8 years ago

    And by the same token, Tyler, mold rarely is a concern here unless there is some evidence of a plumbing leak – hard to have mold in an area with almost no humidity and less than 10 inches of rain a year.

    It definitely is local.

  • Matt 8 years ago

    I laugh when I hear people not wanting to spend money on little inspections. Why wouldn’t you want to know if something was wrong or be reassured that everything is okay. Things can still go wrong down the road but I’d rather catch a problem before it starts than have to fight it later.
    Arizona termites aren’t like the bugs from other parts of the county but it’s still a nuisance that should be taken car of.

  • Brad Miller 8 years ago

    Mold doesn’t need light and air to grow, just moisture and material to feed on will sustain it for very long time. This is truly a fact that molds are present everywhere. This is really frustrating to have these dirt and molds eating your homes slowly. You badly need like the Queens mold inspections team to totally get rid of it. Aside from being clean, health considerations are also an issue since this could affect any of the family members.

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