You're selling your home and it comes time to get that dreaded termite inspection. It's the Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection that homeowners fear can eat away at the price of a home or ruin the entire deal--but it doesn't have to.

There are a few signs that may indicate there might be an infestation. Some states are more likely to have heavy termite activity such as those in a "hot zone" such as California, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Hawaii. While these areas have the highest level of activity, termites can be found nearly anywhere and the varieties of the insects differ depending on the area and climate.

According to TermiteInstitute.com, "When conditions like cracks in the foundation or plumbing leaks are present; the possibility of a hidden wood-destroying infestation exists. Buyers should pay particular attention to these potentially hazardous conditions outlined in the WDO inspection report."

Many homeowners don't think about the possibility of having termites until they're getting ready to sell their home. Unfortunately, a history of termite issues can eat away at the sales price. Being prepared and understanding what to expect from an inspection is not only helpful but could help ensure a better price and smoother home sale.

TermiteInstitute.com has a lot of information that helps clarify the type of termites found in various locations. The site also helps inform and educate people about termite warning signs, treatment, and even the biology and lifecycle of these pests. I found the site's top questions and answers about termites to be very interesting. Here's what you should know about termites.

If my neighbor's home is infested; will mine be attacked next? TermiteInstitute.com says not necessarily. However, the risk is, of course, high. Preventive treatment is recommended.

How are homes treated for termites? The methods vary depending on the severity and the professional company that you choose but here's a look at some modern treatments.

Termite bait systems can be set up, however, this requires termites to find the bait stations, eat the poisonous feed, and then transfer it to the colony. It can take up to a year to be fully effective.

The site says that liquid termite treatment is known as the new "undetectable" or "non-repellent" technology. "It works well with subterranean termites, which comprise about 90 percent of the infestations in American households." This method is done by a professional applying the undetectable liquid to the soil and around the home as well as critical points in the structure where termites are likely to invade.

Since termites can't detect the liquid material, they pass through the treated soil causing termite mortality. "However, before termites die, they can have an opportunity to return to the colony and transfer the material to others in the nest," according to TermiteInstitute.com

Will my homeowners' insurance pay for treatment? It's not likely. Although, in some areas of Louisiana some insurance companies have covered termite treatments for those structures that suffered hurricane damage.

While termites are annoying and can certainly eat away at your sale price, if you don't take care of the infestation and damage, they're not harmful to humans. In other words they feed on wood, not people. But they can severely damage a home so it's best to know right away whether you have an infestation and what your options are to resolve the problem. It could save you money and frustration when it comes time to close the sale on your house.

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