We are getting a lot of request for “termite” inspections for VA Loans. This is a long over due requirement and should be required for all house sales. Not just VA Loans. Why? Because the inspection is not just for termites. The actual NPMA Form 33 inspection is for ALL structural infesting Wood Destroying Insects (W.D.I.) This includes Termites, Carpenter Ants, Powder Post Beetles (and similar), as well as conducive conditions. What does conducive mean? After all, isn’t the mere presence of wood conducive? No, not as it pertains to WDI inspection reports. Conducive is the ideal conditions for attracting, feeding and or breeding of WDI’s. This would be conditions such as water damaged or wet wood. Wood to soil contact. Storage of insect infested wood near or inside a structure, etc.
Here is the rub though. In the state of Wisconsin, we do not regulate who can do WDI/O inspections and reports. We don’t even have an official form to use. This literally means, you pizza delivery guy can also offer performing these inspections, all with out regulatory actions by the state.
Since Wisconsin does have a serious carpenter ant population, that alone is enough where one should have a WDI inspection before buying a house or commercial building. We also have ever growing pockets of Subterranean Termites throughout the state, with several LARGE pockets in Kenosha. Yes, you read that right, in Kenosha. There are also many older structures with serious past and current powder post beetle problems an their associated damage.
There are several home inspectors who also offer WDI inspections, non of them are State Certified in Termite or even structural pest control. Most have only received very basic “classroom” training and some have just added the available service thinking what are the risk, after all we don’t have termites in Wisconsin, therefore it is a simple technicality of requirement. Many of these inspectors are very good at what they do, when it comes to other areas of Home Inspection. Most are sincerely unaware of the liability risk they are putting on their clients by offering a service they are unqualified to offer. Many of them are unknowingly, either under insured or even uninsured for these inspections. This can be disastrous to their clients if they missed an obvious infestation of termites. Since most termite infestations in Wisconsin go undetected for over ten years, a lot of property damage occurs. This means, many homeowners not only face a costly termite treatment, they also face a far more costly repair bill.
When looking for a WDI inspector, make sure they are State Certified in preferably Termite 7.3. Also ask them how many Termite Treatments they have performed over the YEARS, not months. Trust me, you will want a well trained eye as well as educated inspector.
I have been doing Termite treatments and inspections since 1985! Over half the homes treated in Kenosha have been inspected and treated by me.