How frequently should I get my home inspected for termites?

Wanda e-mailed in this question:

"We just purchased a new home (newly constructed) which is constructed
from brick and a vinyl siding.   It was inspected for termites prior
to closing.  Do we need to pay for an annual termite inspection at
this point?  If not, how often would you recommend having it inspected?"
Right now, in your situation you will not need a termite inspection immediately. If you have no termite problems, usually an inspection once per year is enough, even in areas with significant termite problems. Since you've just had one done, you don't need to worry for about a year. The main exceptions:

1) If you have found and eliminated a colony. If you just got rid of one, you need to have more frequent inspections - probably at least once every three months. You can go back to annual inspections once you've been termite free for a year or so.

 

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2) If you know that your neighbors have colonies or have seen a number of swarms in the area. In that case, while you might not need a full inspection, it can be a good idea to have bait set out and have it checked every few months.

Remember that it takes a long time for any damage to actually be done to the home, so you don't have to catch the colony immediately.

While your home is made of brick and vinyl siding, that won't make it termite-proof. Poorly installed or cheap vinyl siding can leave cracks or ways for termites to get in anyway. It's very hard to make a house impossible for termites to get into, because they can build little mud tunnels that allow them to bypass non-wood parts of the structure. However, in a newly built home, it's likely that you've got awhile before you start seeing damage or cracking in the siding that would let them in.

If you have a question about termites you want answered, submit it here.

Sources and Useful Links:

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=594206&category=REALESTATE&BCCode=&newsdate=9/2/2007

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