10 Questions About Pest Inspections


1.
Under what conditions is a pest control inspection report required?
 
Although the State of California regulates structural pest control firms, it does not require an Inspection Report prior to the sale of property. However, financial institutions usually require the report to ensure that the building is structurally sound. This requirement protects their investments and provides the Buyer with an inexpensive safeguard against the cost of pest control repair and treatment.
2.
What are the rights of the Buyer with regard to Pest Inspection Reports and pest control treatment?
 
When a pest control company is hired, it is accountable to both Buyer and the Seller, regardless of who pays for the inspection with a copy of the report within five days. Under section 1099 of the Civil Code, the Seller must deliver a copy of the report to the Buyer
3.
What information must be included on the Inspection Report?
 
The Structural Pest Control Board requires that all pest control companies use a standardized inspection report form. The Inspection Report identifies wood- destroying organisms or conditions likely to cause pest infestation and the areas where the problem exits. Recommendations are also made for corrective treatment.
4.
What areas are considered to be inaccessible on the Inspection Report?
 
Those areas that cannot be inspected without opening the structure or removing the objects blocking the opening are considered inaccessible. Attics without adequate crawl space, slab foundations without openings to bathroom plumbing, floors covered by carpeting, wall interiors, and locked storage areas are the most common inaccessible areas. The pest control inspector must list all inaccessible areas.
5.
Do all recommendations listed on an Inspection Report have to be completed prior to the sale to the home?
 
Some financial institutions require that both the inspection and repair work be completed prior to the closing of escrow. If it is not required, the Buyer should be aware that has been done and work that has yet to be completed before purchasing the home. Pest control companies are required to complete a Notice of Work Completed and not completed when any work is done on a structure.
6.
If two Inspection Reports are filed on the same structure within a reasonably close period, should they be nearly identical?
 
There are three parts to an inspection report: findings, recommendations, and estimates. Each may differ from company to company. Findings should be similar, no matter which company performs the inspection, though minor differences are not uncommon. Any major differences, such as failing to spot active infestations, should be reported to both companies.
7.
How long is an Inspection Report considered valid, and are companies required to certify their inspection work?
 
Under the Structural Pest Control Act, all licensees are responsible for any inspection for two years from the date of such work. However, they are not responsible for conditions that develop after the inspection.
8.
How can a Buyer tell if a house has been inspected before or if any work has been completed?
 
Every time a pest control company makes an inspection for wood-destroying organisms, it must post a tag at the entrance of the attic or in the garage. The tag contains the firm’s name and the date of the inspection. A similar tag must be posted next to the inspection tag when the company completes a Notice of Work Completed or Not Completed, indicating any work completed with respect to wood-destroying pests or organisms.
9.
What criteria should a consumer use in selecting the services of a particular pest control company?
 
The approach should be similar to buying other goods. Consult the yellow pages, shop around, compare prices and services, and get more than one estimate for an inspection. Ask friends or neighbors who have recently used structural pest control services for references. Realtors may also recommend companies.
10.
What recourse does a consumer have if dissatisfied with the services of the pest control company?
 
After reading the information in this brochure, contact the company with whom you are dissatisfied and explain your problem. If the company does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you can contact the Structural Pest Control Board for additional information or assistance by telephoning 919.920.6323 in Northern California.