Does a home inspector check for termites?

Friday, August 30, 2019

Inspecting for termites is specifically excluded from the Standards of Practice of both the national home inspector associations. One refers to them as “wood-destroying organisms” and the other as a general category of “insects.” Also, while a home inspector may be familiar with the signs of a termite infestation—such as mud tubes, wood damage galleries, and fecal pellets—a home inspection license in the state of Florida does not allow the inspector to identify wood-detroying organisms. 

    Only a Florida-licensed pest control operator can verify the presence or absence of termites. Some home inspectors are also licensed as pest control operators, or wood-detroying organisms inspectors working under the supervision of a pest control operator, while others refer termite inspections to another licensed company. 

 
Florida Statutes Regarding Termite Inspection

   There are two relevant Florida Statutes for this. The first is 482.021(22)(b), which includes “the identification of or inspection for infestations or infections in, or, or under a structure, lawn or ornamental” as requiring a pest control license. And the second is 482.165(1), that states “it is unlawful for a person, partnership, firm, corporation, or other business entity not licensed by the department to practice pest control."

     So, while a home inspector that does not have the additional licensing may state that there appears to be wood-destroying organism damage or other evidence of an infestation and recommend further evaluation by a licensed pest control operator, a home inspector is not allowed to verify it.


    Also, see our blog post How do termites infest a house and remain hidden while doing major damage?

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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:

 Should I be worried about termites if my neighbor's house is being tented?

 Is the WDO (termite) inspector allowed to poke holes in my wood siding and trim? 

 Do carpenter ants cause structural damage to houses in Florida?

 How long before closing can you have a WDO (termite) inspection done?

 How long does Bora-Care® last? 

 Why is it a mistake to store lumber in the crawl space under a house?

 Does the presence of carpenter ants in a house indicate that there are probably also termites? 

 Are homes in Florida required to have termite protection? 

 If termite damage appears to be old, does that mean that termites may no longer be present?

 How do I know if my WDO/termite report is "clear"? 

 When do termites swarm in Florida? 

 Does a recent termite company inspection sticker mean there are no termites? 

 Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?

 Do I have to tent the house if I have termites? 

 What is the difference between a subterranean termite and a drywood termite?

 What are the green plastic discs in the ground around the house? 

 What is a termite shield?

 How do termites get into a concrete block house? 

 Do termites eat concrete?

 What is a clean WDO?  

 What do termites eat?

 How do I treat wood rot  that's listed in my termite-WDO report? 

 Do I really need a termite-WDO inspection? 

 What's causing those holes in the fascia?

 Does wood chip mulch in the yard attract termites?

 I think I have termites. What does a termite look like?

 I'm buying a concrete block house. Do I still need a termite inspection? 

• I saw a little termite damage on the baseboard. Should I be concerned?

• Why do termite inspectors tap the wood siding and baseboard wood in a home? 

• What are the minimum access openings for a termite (WDO) inspector in Florida for a crawl space and attic, and within these spaces?

• What does a termite mud tube look like? 

       Visit our TERMITES, WOOD ROT AND PESTS and "DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…” pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.  

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