It’s Not If You Have Termites, It’s When

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

We have a saying in the real estate business here in Arizona that we use to describe the presence of termites in a property.

Termites are a problem. One that can shock sellers and scare away buyers.

Many homeowners are mortified when they are told, “You have termites.”

“How can that be? We always take care of our house. We spray for bugs. We keep things clean,” they say.

Unfortunately, it’s true. You may do a wonderful job taking care of your house and still get termites.

Termites are everywhere in Arizona and hard as we may try, they figure out a way to get into your house.

Fortunately, the termites in Arizona are subterranean in nature. That means they come up from the ground and are relatively slow-moving. Unlike other more humid areas of the country, Arizona’s termites are considered “lazy”. It takes many years of infestation before any significant damage occurs.

Most termite infestations are easily treated by treating the ground around the foundation of the building. Any termites that may have gotten inside die off quickly and the problem is solved for about ten years.

Because of the toxicity of the chemicals used to treat termites, it is not recommended to treat termites as a preventive measure. So the best solution is a routine termite inspection every few years.

The Pest Management Division of the Arizona Department of Agriculture maintains a website that offers advice and helps property owners track infestations and treatments. The website is a wealth of information.

Oh, By the way. The saying that we have in Arizona regarding termites is:

“It’s not IF you have termites, it’s WHEN you have termites."

I think that summarizes the subject clearly.


Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit

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Comments (6)

Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Joseph,

I always say in Austin we live on a bed of termites. Just like you it's not if you have termites it's when! like you our termites are subterranean in nature. They  come up from the ground and are relatively slow-moving.

Nov 26, 2023 11:20 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

I think most of the southwest is this way

Nov 28, 2023 01:22 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

So true Joseph - so true. Termites can pop up at anytime!  I haven't experienced that it's a game changer for sellers and buyers as they all know 'it happens'.

Nov 26, 2023 03:36 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Except for those buyers who come from other parts of the country. They freak out.

Nov 28, 2023 01:22 PM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Joe, your informative post about termites in Arizona is an eye-opener! It’s a great reminder that vigilance and regular inspections are key, even in well-maintained homes. Your pragmatic approach to dealing with termites is reassuring for homeowners. Stay proactive and keep sharing such valuable insights! 🐜🏠 #StayMotivated #HomeCare

Nov 26, 2023 03:50 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Charles

Nov 28, 2023 01:23 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011  my take is easy we have termites in California too... so we hire a Termite Inspector, and they give a price what it would cost to remediate it.... make a deal with the buyer it will be taken care of prior to close of escrow, Endre

Nov 26, 2023 09:00 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

I know the termite inspectors on a first name basis

Nov 28, 2023 01:21 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Joe,
Termites aren't unheard of in my area (Central Washington State) but they're not unheard of, depending on conditions. Of course, any wood to earth is a No-No!

Nov 28, 2023 07:23 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

We keep our eyes open whenever we walk around the outside of the house. That's where you see them first.

Nov 28, 2023 01:25 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Homes & Interiors

It’s essential to have a termite bond here in Florida.

Jan 29, 2024 02:05 AM