Pest Inspections

Home Inspector with Safe@Home Inspections, LLC in SE Washington 215

Contrary to popular opinion, we do have pest issues in areas like Pullman and Moscow.  Our primary invader is the carpenter ant.  The problem that is starting to develop is that while we have a slew licensed inspectors in the area (and the number is growing), only two of us are still licensed as pest inspectors.

The Washington State Standards of Practice for home inspectors is pretty clear.  We are required to report any conducive conditions to pest infestation and wood destroying fungus and, if not also licensed as a Structural Pest Inspector, refer our clients to an SPI if we suspect insect damage.

One of the realities of the marketplace is that home inspectors market to Realtors rather than directly to clients.  I have my doubts that the referral will consistently take place.  There is a great deal of resistence to pest inspections in this area.  There is an ecomonic incentive to try to avoid messy areas like termites and carpenter ants and, of course, the liability involved inherent to a pest inspection. 

I've elected to keep my pest licensed.  I don't make much additional revenue from it but it does leave me in a better position to serve my clients.  Fortunately for me, the Realtors that I work with want a good solid inspection and will work with and help their clients when they get the report.


Comments (5)

Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Why someone would skimp on a pest inspection is beyond me. The inspector we use has stopped a few deals of mine but thankfully. The time to kill a deal is BEFORE my client spends their money on a bug infested home.

Oct 02, 2010 01:24 AM
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

Good Morning Paul, very interesting post, thanks for the update.

Oct 02, 2010 02:01 AM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Paul, I have yet to find any agents around here that don't want both done at the same time for their clients.  Around here, I think most inspectors are keeping their SPI----not sure what the newbies are doing.  I would not be wanting to get that call after the inspection:  "Hey you missed a huge Carpenter Ant infestation," and my only defense being, "What's a Carpenter Ant----and besides it wasn't my job to tell you about them."

Oct 02, 2010 02:44 AM
Paul Duffau
Safe@Home Inspections, LLC in SE Washington - Asotin, WA
Caring for People, Educating about Homes

Hi Randy, I wish it were that way everywhere.  About 5 years ago I had a Realtor that actually told me that he didn't refer licensed SPI's because he didn't think we should have to do that.

Charlie, none of our new inspectors are SPI licensed and one guy has a suspended license because he left the financial coverage drop.  It's me and one other guy at this point but the Realtors don't believe that we have termites here.  I know it's dry but still....they're here.  It's kinda like knowing a train wreck is coming but not knowing when. 




Oct 02, 2010 06:22 AM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Paul, this is a time bomb wainting to explode---maybe not right now---but certainly in the future if more and more inspectors don't even know what they are missing.  Right now most of the older inspectors know because of the past requirements to be SPI's----so they are still going to notice---even if they can't say anything about them----at least they will know enough to recommend a pest inspection. 

On another note----congratulations on your appointment to the board----I am sure you will make a great addition.

Oct 02, 2010 06:54 AM