Termites. It’s a word nobody wants to hear at their home inspection. Understandably so, termites can be very destructive. And even though they are commonly found throughout Iowa, the word still grabs our attention and often causes us to be very concerned.

Termites in Iowa

In Iowa, termites and carpenter ants are the common wood-destroying pests we encounter. And unfortunately, they can cause lots of damage. We routinely find evidence/damage on basement walls, flooring, and framing. Just a couple of weeks ago I had multiple inspections with damage from wood-destroying insects. Sometimes we can see the damage directly – floor joists or wood beams that have been structurally compromised. Other times we can only see the evidence they leave behind – namely mud tubes on walls or other parts of the structure.

Evidence of Wood-destroying Pests

As home inspectors, we sometimes shy away from using the word ‘termite’ specifically. Instead, we prefer to say that we have discovered ‘evidence of wood-destroying pests’. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, we try not to be alarmists when it comes to an inspection and inspection reports. Our goal isn’t to freak you out or make you run from purchasing the home, but instead to help you make an informed decision about the property under consideration. We identify what we have found, share that information with you, and try to help you understand what that means regarding your home.

termite damage

Termite Professionals

Secondly, we often choose the phrase ‘evidence of wood-destroying pests’ because we leave the classification of these pests to the pest professionals. As inspectors, we do our best to be as knowledgeable as we can about all things related to your home. However, we cannot be experts in everything. That is where pest professionals are your best resource for wood-destroying pests. Whenever we see evidence of wood-destroying insects, we always recommend having a pest professional do a thorough evaluation of the property.

Are Termite Inspections Required?

Did you know that most real estate transactions in the state of Iowa require a termite inspection? Yes, that’s correct. If you are buying a home, a termite inspection is often required by the lender as a part of the loan approval process. Technically referred to as a ‘wood destroying insect (WDI) inspection’. Nonetheless, this inspection will note whether or not signs of wood-destroying insects were detected. If there are signs, the report will note the exact location and if treatment is recommended for your house.