Last Updated: 30th September, 2022

What is a pest inspection?

A pre-purchase pest inspection is the examination of a property for the presence of pests and termites.

The inspector is not just looking for termites, but also other timber pests like borers and wood decay fungi.

It is recommended a pre-settlement inspection be done to avoid nasty surprises after you’ve bought a property.

Please note that a pre-purchase pest inspection is not the same as a routine pest inspection, and it is not a substitute for each other.

However, Australia’s climate and environment are perfect conditions for pests and termites to thrive in within a short period of time and can do major damage to your property.

A pre-purchase pest inspection involves a thorough inspection of all the accessible interior and exterior areas of the property including:

  • All the rooms of the property
  • Retaining walls
  • Under-floor space
  • Roof void and exterior
  • Roof space
  • All accessible timber
  • Carport
  • Garage
  • Garden shed
  • Driveways and paths
  • Fencing
  • Backyard

Downloadable pest inspection checklist

We’re created a Pest Inspection Checklist that you can download to help you make your home buying decision.

Download the pest inspection checklist

Please note that this pest inspection checklist is not a substitute for an inspection done by a professional.

Why is it important?

Think of a pest inspection as a small investment. It is important to do a proper property inspection before you buy or sell a property.

You do not want to live in the horror of finding out that termites have been eating away the walls of your home.

Pest inspections will help you get:

  • A clearer picture of the property, as sellers tend to conceal and hide minor and major defects of their property. This might give you negotiating power to haggle the prices or demand that the defects are fixed before you move in, at no expense to you.
  • Information on any defects and repairs that are needed and rectify them before they become severe, which will affect the structural integrity of the building.
  • Higher resale value of your property. As a seller, you can make the necessary repairs and preventive measures to ensure the property is risk-free from pests and termites.

How is the inspection done?

The pest inspector will first examine the exterior of the property and then proceed towards the subfloor areas, and then the interior of the property and its roof void.

The inspector will also check any property extension, pergolas, gardens, the external foundation of walls, etc.

There are some telltale signs that an inspector will look at:

  • Ripples in the paint layer.
  • The appearance of dirt and mud in the corners of rooms or around skirting boards.
  • Visible holes made by beetles, borers whose larvae live and feed within the timber.
  • Animal droppings from rodents of bed bugs.
  • Excavated wood inside and outside the property.
  • Damaged furniture, gnawing marks or droppings.
  • Damp patches in the ceiling that indicates damage or pipes.
  • Termite muds on the foundation or within building structures.
  • Even old and abandoned termite muds can be active again.
  • The residue to termite mudding, faecal spotting, etc.
  • Raised timber or separated fibres are a sign of timber delignification.
  • Any electrical issues and faulty plugs caused by termites nesting within walls.
  • Visible damage to timber or plaster.

Pest inspectors use non-invasive to find out the presence of pests and termites, and these include: