Why It’s Important to Check for Termites When Buying a House

termites If you’re buying a house, that’s fantastic news! Whether it’s your first home or a new place to live, it’s an exciting time. But what’s not so exciting is moving into your new home and discovering it has serious damage from termites and other wood-destroying insects like carpenter ants. Unfortunately, most insurance doesn’t cover termite damage. However, if you notice signs of termite activity in your potential new home, you can request repairs and termite treatments.

How Termites Can Harm Your Home

Myrtle Beach termites munch on the cellulose found in wood, causing over $5 billion in property damage annually. They chew through wood, flooring, and even wallpaper as they search for food. This kind of termite activity can damage a house’s foundation and structural support, leading to costly repairs, often in the thousands of dollars.

Multiple termite colonies can live on one acre of land, which means millions of termites could potentially access your home at any time. In the United States, subterranean termites and drywood termites are the most common species and can cause significant stress to your home.

The parts of a house that termites commonly target include

  • slab foundations
  • places where wood makes contact with soil
  • challenging-to-access crawl spaces.

These spots tend to have extra moisture, making them attractive to termites.

Getting a Termite Inspection Before Buying

Before you settle into your new home, it’s essential to arrange for a home inspector to carry out a termite inspection. This step helps you steer clear of unforeseen expenses and damages. Termite damage isn’t always easy to spot without a trained eye, but experts in termite detection are well-versed in what to watch for.


Even if you hadn’t initially planned on having a termite inspection, your choices may be limited depending on how you’re buying your home. In many cases, a termite inspection is a mandatory part of finalizing a real estate deal, and certain mortgages, like FHA and VA loans, may hinge on the extent of any required repairs.

Thankfully, these inspections are relatively affordable compared to the potential thousands of dollars in damage you could face if you don’t check for termites before closing.

What to Expect During a Termite Inspection

A termite inspection is different from a standard home inspection because it evaluates the physical structure of your home, from the roof to the foundation. Termite inspections, when done by a professional, usually take about an hour. The process is relatively hands-off for the homeowner and prospective buyer.

Throughout the inspection, a termite expert will meticulously inspect and investigate your home from the attic down to the basement in search of any indications of termite-related harm. The inspector will give special consideration to spots susceptible to termite-induced wood damage, including wood flooring, door frames, baseboards, and window sills. Indications of termite damage may include the following:

  • Swollen ceilings and floors
  • Warped wood
  • Water damaged areas
  • Visible tunnels in furniture or walls
  • Hollow structures producing a slight echo when you tap it with a screwdriver
  • Mud tubes running along walls or hanging from ceilings

termiteThe pest inspector will also look for other indicators of a termite infestation, like termite droppings (called frass) or discarded termite wings. After completing the inspection, the specialist will provide a termite inspection report, detailing any infestations found and estimating the cost to exterminate the termites.

Treating Termites

Once a termite inspector provides a cost estimate for termite extermination, a pest control company will need to perform termite treatment. This typically involves drilling holes to apply concentrated liquid treatment or spraying insecticide to eliminate the termite colony. In certain situations, your exterminator might use bait stations.

After treatment, the seller will need to assess the damage and likely work with a pest control contractor in Myrtle Beach to make repairs. Unfortunately, these costs can add up, especially if they involve extensive demolition and replacing structural supports. However, if you schedule the inspection before buying, the seller is typically responsible for these repair costs – not you. Alternatively, you can choose not to proceed with the purchase if the termite damage is too extensive.

If you don’t have a termite infestation or simply want to avoid the hassle termites can cause, there are Myrtle Beach pest control measures you can take, including:

  • Maintain a dry environment and channel water away from your house.
  • Keep wood piles and mulch at a distance from your home’s foundation.
  • Keep an eye out for early indications of termites and termite damage, including
    • discarded droppings,
    • swarmer wings,
    • mud tubes in basements and crawl spaces
    • warping on wooden surfaces.
  • Arrange for your termite home inspection.

A licensed, professional pest inspector should handle your termite inspection. At Zap Pest Control, we specialize in inspections ideal for identifying termite problems. If you’re in the process of buying a new home, consider scheduling an inspection to avoid surprises related to termite damage. Or, if you suspect you may have termites at your current residence, we offer free inspections and termite control solutions.

Call Zap Pest Control Inc. now and let our team of experts get rid of the termites from your home.

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Zap Pest Control Inc.
2507 Forestbrook Rd Suite G
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

Areas Served: Surfside Beach SCCarolina Forest SC, Conway SC, Little River SC, North Myrtle Beach SC, Socastee SC, Myrtle Beach SC

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