Termites pose a serious threat to homes in South Florida largely because the damage these wood-devouring insects do is so difficult to detect. So if you’re buying a home in the region, a termite inspection is an important presale step to ensure the residence is termite-free.
This guide to termite inspection in South Florida explains all your options as a home buyer, including how the inspection process works, what to expect from the inspection and the importance of termite prevention as insurance against potentially costly home repairs.
Termite Inspection in South Florida: Do You Need One Before Buying a House?
Termite inspections are officially referred to as Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) inspections. They are intended to detect signs of Drywood termites, Subterranean termites, Wood-devouring beetles, Carpenter ants, and dry rot. WDO inspections are required before the sale of a house in Florida when the buyer is applying for a mortgage, an FHA loan, VA loan, or HUD loan. Many home insurers also make a WDO inspection mandatory before approving the policy.
Termite Inspection: What to Expect
Pest inspections typically occur at the same time as a home buyer’s general inspection of the premises. Inspectors look for signs of many different types of pests, including cockroaches, rodents, bed bugs, spiders, and moths. The inspections are usually paid for by the home purchaser, although they are sometimes covered by the seller or the buyer’s real estate agent. They typically cost between $150 and $250.
Termite Inspection Procedure
While many termite inspections can be completed in less than one hour, others may take several hours to finish, depending on the size and characteristics of the home. Inspectors examine the home’s baseboards, floorboards, walls, siding, and all other structural elements for signs of past or current infestations.
Professional pest control services employ specialized equipment that their staff are trained to use without causing any damage to the house. The inspection report lists any issues that must be addressed immediately and situations that could lead to future pest infestations. It will recommend solutions for any current or potential pest-related problems and may recommend a more thorough inspection of specific locations.
Termite Inspection: How Do Termite Bonds Work?
Termite bonds are:
- Agreements between homeowners and a pest control service to cover an initial inspection and treatment.
- Routine inspections at a regular interval (yearly, quarterly, or another agreed-upon interval).
- Sometimes the cost of future treatments and repairs.
The bonds cost from $700 to $1,000 for the initial inspection and treatment, and about $300 to $400 annually thereafter, depending on the duration of the bond.
Home insurance policies don’t cover the cost of repairing termite damage, so the bonds are seen as a form of insurance against a full-blown termite infestation, which could cost as much as $10,000 to recover from.
An alternative to a termite bond is a service such as Nozzle Nolen’s 365 Complete Home Protection Package. This all-inclusive pest control plan protects your home against the most common termites and nearly every type of pest that plagues South Florida homeowners, including mosquitos, rodents, bed bugs, bees and wasps, cockroaches, and spiders.
Termite Inspection: Preventive Termite Treatment
The most effective and affordable way to ensure your home is free of termites and other pests is an approach emphasizing prevention. Nozzle Nolen’s certified pest control technicians will help you create a barrier between your yard and your home that deters termites from gaining a foothold. The prevention plan eliminates potential food sources for termites and other pests and creates more attractive alternatives for the termites, such as termite bait stations.
Termite Inspection: Preventing Drywood Termites
Drywood termites are among the two most common types of termites found in South Florida, along with Subterranean termites. Through spring and early summer, Drywood termite swarmers leave their nests in search of new nesting opportunities. These insects are often mistaken for ants but tend to be longer and can be distinguished by the shape of their wings.
The best way to prevent Drywood termites is by keeping wood piles at least 20 feet from your house, removing old wooden gates and fences that aren’t used regularly, keeping doors and windows in good repair and treating them with termite-specific insecticides, and keeping shrubs and bushes trimmed, so they don’t make contact with the house exterior.
Termite Inspection and Treatment With a Focus on Prevention
If you suspect the presence of termites in your home, it’s imperative to act quickly to keep the damage they cause to a minimum. Spotting the signs of these stealthy insects can be a challenge, however. Some signs include:
- Subterranean termites build mud tubes that connect their ground-based colony to your home.
- Termite tunneling often leaves small grooves or pathways inside wooden structures.
- Small piles of what appears to be sawdust or powder may be termite frass, which termites excrete and use to hide the holes they dig.
- Moist wood around your home may show signs of termite activity.
- Sagging, sloping, or bulging walls, floors, or ceilings may be caused by termite damage to your home’s wood foundation and other internal wood structures.
Termite Inspection Tools
Spot fumigation treatments can often eliminate a Drywood termite infestation, but sometimes a full treatment is required. Nozzle Nolen’s comprehensive termite inspection tools and treatment options include:
- Foundation treatments
- Tent fumigation
- Non-tent treatments
- Tape-and-seal fumigation
- Heat treatments
- Vault fumigation for valuable furniture
The company’s “White Glove” service leaves all necessary preparation and post-fumigation work to the company’s technicians.
Getting Started With Nozzle Nolen
Termites pose a serious threat to South Florida homeowners. Programs such as Nozzle Nolen’s 365 Complete deliver peace of mind by ensuring that your home, your family, and your pets are protected against all the damaging and health-threatening pests that are encountered most often in our region. Our locally owned company has years of experience keeping homes and businesses in South Florida pest free. Don’t wait any longer to sign up for your free evaluation.
Nozzle Nolen has provided expert pest control services for South Florida homes and businesses for over 70 years. If you are facing an active infestation, or are interested in putting your mind at ease with a termite inspection in South Florida, give us a call at 800.226.6536 or Contact Us. We look forward to serving you.