Here's how dangerous it is to buy a home without a termite inspection

Pest infestations can turn dream homes into nightmares - UnSplash +

For as little as $200, you could protect yourself

Buying a house? How about a horror story or two from people who bought what they thought was their dream home that quickly turned into a nightmare when they discover a previously undetected pest issue?

Almost half of U.S. homeowners (46%) are totally unaware of how much damage termites can cause to buildings and structures. An even greater percentage – 69% – fail to take preventive measures to protect their home from termite infestations, like eliminating moisture in and around the home, routinely inspecting the foundation for signs of termite damage, etc.

During National Homeownership Month, experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are spreading awareness about pest threats to properties and the risks associated with waiving inspections in a competitive housing market.

And those risks are serious, too. Just watch this true life horror story from TikTok. Then, take a look at this other nightmare.

Why pest prevention is important

If you don’t want to become a victim like those on TikTok, you can’t take pest prevention lightly. Dr. Jim Fredericks, board-certified entomologist and senior vice president of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), told ConsumerAffairs that wood-destroying insects like termites and carpenter ants will quite literally chew through the wooden foundation of your home. Then, there are those rodents that can damage vital electrical wiring and even pipes, pests can cause serious issues for homeowners.

“Pest prevention should be a top priority for all homeowners, especially during the summer, which is peak pest season. However, this is not something you need to do alone. Working with a pest control professional to perform regular inspections and treat pest issues when they arise can help keep your home protected,” Fredericks told ConsumerAffairs.

“For those looking to buy a home, I know it can be tempting to forgo a pest inspection in order to increase the chances of your offer being accepted in this competitive market. However, we’ve seen horror stories of new homeowners discovering pest infestations that can be extremely costly. My advice, save yourself the headache and make sure you get a pest inspection before buying,” added Fredericks. 

And, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. According to Angi, that “ounce” – the average cost for most full-service pest control jobs, like eliminating wasp or roach infestations – is between $200 and $600 for a 1,500-square-foot property.

You can do some things by yourself to help, too

Yes, houses cost an arm and a leg these days. And, yes, there are probably corners you can cut to save yourself some money, but if you skip vital pest inspections during the process,  it could turn a really exciting time into a nightmare fast. 

In addition to working with a qualified pest control professional, NPMA recommends homeowners take these steps to protect their home from pest issues before they start: 

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.

  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house.

  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.

  • Repair fascia and damaged roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.

  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the building foundation and windows.

  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.

Finding a reputable pest control company

If you think what you read about pests calls for some action, there are two steps you should take. To start with, for more information on pests and prevention advice or to find a pest control professional near you, visit

You should also check out the reviews of other pest control consumers. ConsumerAffairs recently published a guide that might help you.​

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