Termite question

I did an inspection where there was previous treatment. There were holes drilled into the sidewalk on one side of the house. The existing homeowners did not get this done and they have lived there for 15 years. So the chemical has warn off. There was no signs of any activity in the basement. No prior damage, no mud tubes, no wings caught in any of the spider webs, my probing pick did not penetrate through the sill.

I recommended that there should be a bait monitoring system installed because there was prior termites some time ago. My thought is by recommending a bait monitoring systems will trigger a pest control agency to come out and do their own inspection and make their own recommendation and this will take the responsibility off of me.
Could I have just recommended a treatment because of thr prior termites or because I did not see any activity, the recommendation that I chose was the right way to go.?
During the time of the termite discussion, both realtors started to argue in front of me on who was going to pay for this. Even though that is not a home inspectors concern, it was a touchy situation. Thanks Rick

P.S. I read on the back of the Form NPMA-33 #2 states that if this is a VA or FHA type loan, I should of in this situation recommend a treatment. Is it up to the home inspector to find out on what type of loan is being used on a property we are inspecting.??? This house was a cash deal.

Evidence of previous treatment is not, by itself, a reason to recommend a monitoring system.

If the house was treated correctly (which sounds like it was)and there is no current signs of activity, treatment is not necessary.

I agree with both James members above.


Your website makes no mention of wood destroying pests inspections.

Why would would you recommend any type of treatment or monitoring system? Why would you not recommend a WDI/WDO inspection to be performed by a licensed provider in your area and let them take on the responsibility for that?

James is correct that just because a treatment was done previously that is not a good reason to recommend additional services such as bait monitoring.

in the state of Texas, it states that a treatment should be recommended if and only if active termites were found OR previous termites were found with NO PRIOR TREATMENT. Texas also states a baiting system as being one of the 3 types of treatments. Therefore knowing that the residence has been treated, and no active termites were found, no treatment should have been recommended. That is of course in the state of Texas.

Monitoring systems are worthless. They only create profits for treatment companies. Most treatments are within 18 inches of the home’s foundation, and the “bait” stations are placed on that line.

“Mr, I found termites in one of the bait stations. Even though we treated last year and charged you a large fee, we need to re-treat at the same cost”. A scam, IMHO.

Make sure you read the back of the NPMA-33 form carefully, section 2. Key words are “no documentation…five years…”

New Jersey requires a Pesticide Applicator License (Category 7B).

As long as you are Licensed and making recommendations within the requirements of that License on form NPMA-33, you are OK to make the recommendation for Baiting.

The reason would be:

  • Physical evidence of treatment without a record of the application being made in the last 5 years. Re-treatment should be recommended and is warranted as a recommendation.

It is also important to remember, perimeter stations may be Bait or they may be Active Treatment. It depends upon the manufacturer and service providor.


Two things, I would not have called out for termite treatment in that situation.

Also, according to your website, you are not licensed to provide termite inspections, nor do you have your NJ license number listed on your website, which is required. Are you licensed?

Termite work just like human society. Some of their work description includes foraging for food for the brood, mending the nest and feeding the stationary members of the nest. Occasionally, workers play the role of defenders whenever the nest is ‘attacked’.
If you want to know more, visit

Hey Rick,

l happen to be a certified entomologist and also own a pest control company. Our job is to report the evidence. lf there is a lender they will make the call. lf the transaction is VA or FHA the underwiters will only treat if live termites are found during the course of the inspection. The real estate agreement also comes into play. lf there is a repair clause. The seller may have responsibility. lf it’s a short sale or foreclosure usually the buyer will be on the hook. l hope this clarifies a bit more.