Termite Inspection is Usually a Waste of Time
A typical termite inspection is done in less than thirty minutes with most of that time used to fill out the Texas Official Wood Destroying Insect Report.The vast majority of inspectors perform the inspection ?VISUALLY? meaning they merely walk around looking for signs of termites.To understand why this is patently absurd, you have to first understand termites.
Subterranean termites, the most common termite, are Cryptobiotic. That means they avoid light and air.They do not come out into the open.They do not roam your house at night when the lights go out like roaches.In fact, they are so sensitive to light and air that they build shelters everywhere they go.EVERYWHERE! Including in the space between your walls as well as underground.They build what are called ?shelter tubes? wherever they go even if it is between your sheetrock and the brick on the outside of your house.
They are also known to eat wood up to the actual layer of paint that once attached to the wood surface.Occasionally, they will come all the way through a wall or piece of wood, but that is very rare.When they do, their distinctive ?exit holes?are a sign that termites were once in that area.
The best chance to actually see termites that have not damaged the house so much that anyone can see the problem is when they swarm.Swarming is when the reproductive termites, called ?Alates? fly out of a wall or structure one after another in large numbers in the hundreds.They have wings and will usually settle pretty quickly trying to find another mate and start an entirely new termite colony.If they swarm in your house, you will know you have dozens if not hundreds of bugs flying in your house.
The third and basically final way to find termites visually in a house is when the aforementioned flying or swarming termites die and leave their wings in windowsills, spider webs or the like.
Apart from these three possibilities, there is very little chance that a termite inspector will ?SEE? termites in your house.So what good is the inspection, then?Not much good at all.
A real inspection for subterranean termites requires the inspector to do more than ?just look? for termites.It requires an active search including using a moisture meter; probing and sounding the wood around door frames and windows.It takes turning of soil next to slabs and looking for conducive conditions which are essentially sources of moist wood.
To do all of that takes more than 30 minutes even without the paperwork.