VA Termite and Pest Inspection Requirements By State

Updated: November 9, 2022
In this Article

    Borrowers who use their VA home loan entitlements must adhere to VA requirements. 

    The VA’s requirements help ensure your home is worth the purchase price – a portion of which the VA guarantees when you get a VA loan. 

    In areas where wood-destroying pests are common, the VA may require an extra inspection on your property before approving your mortgage.

    In addition to termites, there are plenty of other wood-destroying pests, according to Terminix, including:

    • Carpenter ants
    • Carpenter bees
    • Old-house borers
    • Powderpost beetles

    In areas with a high rate of wood-destroying insect infestation, the VA requires termite inspections as a part of the VA loan process.

    Who Pays for the VA Termite Inspection?

    Until recently, the VA wouldn’t let homebuyers pay for termite inspections, even when the VA required them. Sellers had to be willing to cover the cost of the inspections. 

    However, that changed on June 15, 2022. Termite inspections are now an allowable fee for VA home buyers, according to VA Circular 26-22-11. This gives buyers more flexibility when closing their home purchase contracts.

    The VA encourages veterans “to negotiate the cost of the wood-destroying pest inspection and repairs with the seller,” according to the circular.

    VA Termite Inspection Requirements

    During the inspection process, VA appraisers must note if a property “is located in an area where the probability of termite infestation is “very heavy’ or ‘moderate to heavy,” according to Section 13.06 of the VA’s lender handbook. These properties must undergo a termite inspection and, if necessary, mitigation before the VA loan closes. 

    Regardless of the home’s location, the VA will require a home inspection if the VA appraisal indicates wood-destroying insect damage or active infestation.

    VA termite inspection requirements apply whether the home is an existing property or new construction. If you plan to build your home after your VA loan closes, the termite inspector will assess the probability of infestation based on soil samples. 

    Home-Types Exempt from Wood Destroying Pest Inspections

    The VA exempts some property types from termite inspections, according to the VA’s lender handbook. These properties are exempt, unless noted in the state requirements list below. 

    • Low-rise or high-rise condominium units that are stacked vertically, unless the VA appraiser notes evidence of infestation
    • Condominiums where the homeowners association can provide a termite treatment guarantee

    VA Pest Inspection Requirements By State

    Geographic areas have different rates of termite infestation. You are more likely to need a termite inspection if you plan to buy in a southern state. 

    Here is a list of VA termite and pest inspection requirements by state, according to the VA’s website and its termite infestation probability map:

    ALABAMA

    Alabama has a “very heavy” risk of wood-destroying pests, according to the termite infestation probability map. Home buyers in Alabama need a termite inspection to buy a home anywhere in the state.

    ALASKA

    Wood-destroying insect information is “not generally required,” in Alaska, according to the VA. However, if VA appraisers notice evidence of an infestation, they may require a termite inspection.

    ARIZONA

    Arizona is in the “moderate to heavy” zone on the infestation probability map, so you’ll need a termite inspection if you buy a home here. 

    ARKANSAS

    Arkansas is a state with “very heavy” risk of termite infestation, according to the infestation probability map. You will need a termite inspection to use your VA loan in this state. 

    CALIFORNIA

    Since it is noted as a state with a “very heavy” probability of termite infestation, you’ll have to get a termite inspection when buying in California. 

    COLORADO

    You will only need a termite inspection in Colorado if the VA appraiser determines the property has an active infestation or a high probability of developing one, according to the VA website. 

    CONNECTICUT

    Because Connecticut had “moderate to heavy” likelihood of termite infestation, you’ll need a termite inspection to buy a home in the state. 

    DELAWARE

    Delaware has a “moderate to heavy” probability of termite infestation, according to the VA, so you’ll need a wood-destroying pest inspection when buying a home there. 

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    The District of Columbia has a “moderate to heavy” risk of termite infestation, according to the VA, so you’ll need to get a termite inspection here, too. 

    FLORIDA

    The VA assesses Florida has a “very heavy” risk of termites. Floridian properties require termite inspections to use your VA loan guarantee. 

    GEORGIA

    Florida’s northern neighbor, Georgia, also falls into the “very heavy” probability of termites zone, so homes in this state require a termite inspection, too. 

    HAWAII

    Hawaii has an exceptionally high risk of termites, so the VA’s Honolulu regional loan office requires wood-destroying pest inspections on all residential properties, including if you are purchasing a condominium property that is five stories or less, according to the VA website

    IDAHO

    Idaho falls into the “slight to moderate” zone of the termite infestation probability map, so you won’t need a termite inspection here unless the VA appraiser notes evidence of an active or probable infestation. 

    ILLINOIS

    The termite infestation probability map places Illinois in the “moderate to heavy” zone, so the VA requires termite inspections here. 

    INDIANA

    You’ll also have to get a termite inspection in Indiana since the VA lists it as having a “moderate to heavy” probability of termite infestation. 

    IOWA

    Home purchases in Iowa using a VA loan require a termite inspection, according to the VA’s termite probability resource. 

    KANSAS

    The VA lists Kansas as having a “moderate to heavy” risk of termite infestation, so you’ll need a termite inspection when buying a home here. 

    KENTUCKY

    Kentucky also falls into the “moderate to heavy” termite risk zone, so plan on needing a termite inspection before closing your VA home loan here. 

    LOUISIANA

    Louisiana has a “very heavy” risk of termites, so the VA requires termite inspections for properties throughout the state. 

    MAINE

    You won’t need a termite inspection in Maine unless your VA appraiser orders it, according to the VA website. 

    MARYLAND

    Maryland is another state with a “moderate to heavy” risk of termites, according to the VA. Plan on getting a termite inspection when buying a home here on a VA loan. 

    MASSACHUSETTS

    VA Home purchases in Massachusetts require termite inspections since the state is in the “moderate to heavy” zone on the termite probability map. 

    MICHIGAN

    In Michigan, whether or not you need a termite inspection for a VA loan depends on the county. The VA requires wood-destroying pest inspections in these 25 countries: 

    • Allegan
    • Barry
    • Berrien
    • Branch
    • Calhoun
    • Cass
    • Hillsdale
    • Ionia
    • Jackson
    • Kalamazoo
    • Kent
    • Lenawee
    • Livingston
    • Macomb
    • Mason
    • Monroe
    • Muskegon
    • Oakland
    • Oceana
    • Ottawa
    • St. Clair
    • St. Joseph
    • VanBuren
    • Washtenaw
    • Wayne

    The VA may also require you to get an inspection if they find evidence of a probable infestation, even if you live in another county. 

    MINNESOTA

    Unless your appraiser thinks otherwise, you won’t need a termite inspection in Minnesota, which the VA assesses only has a slight risk of termites. 

    MISSISSIPPI

    Mississippi carries a “very heavy” risk of termites, termite inspections are part of every VA loan closing process. 

    MISSOURI

    You’ll need a wood-destroying pest inspection when buying a home in Missouri using a VA loan due to its “moderate to heavy” risk of termites. 

    MONTANA

    Most of the state of Montana falls into the “none to slight” zone of the termite infestation probability map. So unless your VA appraiser notes otherwise, you won’t need a termite inspection here. 

    NEBRASKA

    Nebraska falls into three different zones on the termite infestation probability map. But the St. Paul regional loan center requires termite inspections no matter where in the state the home is located, according to the VA website. 

    NEVADA

    Most of Nevada falls into the “moderate to heavy” termite probability zone, so you’ll need a termite inspection when buying a home here, too. 

    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    The VA only requires termite inspections for homes in these southern New Hampshire counties:

    • Cheshire
    • Sullivan
    • Merrimack
    • Rockingham
    • Belknap
    • Hillsborough
    • Strafford

    If your VA appraiser judges your home at high risk for termite damage, you’ll need an inspection even if you live in a northern county. 

    NEW JERSEY

    Since New Jersey is a “moderate to heavy” termite risk state, so the VA requires termite inspections when buying a home. 

    NEW MEXICO

    New Mexico’s termite infestation risk is “moderate to heavy,” so VA home loans require termite inspections. 

    NEW YORK

    Wood-destroying insect information is required for all properties in these New York Counties:

    • Bronx
    • Broome
    • Columbia
    • Delaware
    • Dutchess
    • Greene
    • Kings
    • Nassau
    • New York
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Queens
    • Richmond
    • Rockland
    • Suffolk
    • Sullivan
    • Ulster
    • Westchester

    NORTH CAROLINA

    If you purchase a home in North Carolina using your VA loan entitlement, you must get a termite inspection due to its “moderate to heavy” risk of termite infestation. 

    NORTH DAKOTA

    Unless the VA appraiser assesses otherwise, you won’t need a termite inspection when purchasing a home in North Dakota, according to the VA website. 

    OHIO

    VA home purchases in Ohio require a termite inspection since it is a “moderate to heavy” termite risk status. 

    OKLAHOMA

    In Oklahoma, you will need to get a termite inspection before your VA home loan can close, according to information on the VA website. 

    OREGON

    The VA assesses Oregon to have only a “slight to moderate” risk of termites. You won’t need a termite inspection unless your VA appraiser specifically requests it. 

    PENNSYLVANIA

    Pennsylvania is in the “moderate to heavy” termite infestation probability zone, so you’ll need a termite inspection when purchasing a property here and using your VA home loan. 

    PUERTO RICO

    The VA requires termite inspections in Puerto Rico if the builders used (or will use, in the case of future construction) wood in any part of the house that hasn’t undergone pressure treatment in conformance with American Wood Preservers Institute standards.

    RHODE ISLAND

    Rhode Island’s status as a state with a “moderate to heavy” risk of active termite infestation means you’ll need a wood-destroying pest inspection before the VA guarantees your home loan.

    SOUTH CAROLINA

    South Carolina has a “very heavy” infestation probability, so you’ll need a termite inspection before closing on a home with your VA loan here. 

    SOUTH DAKOTA

    South Dakota has a “none to slight” risk of termite infestation, so the VA doesn’t require wood-destroying pest inspections as part of your VA loan process. 

    TENNESSEE

    Tennesee’s wood-destroying insect risk is “moderate to heavy,” which means you’ll need a termite inspection when getting a VA home loan in this state. 

    TEXAS

    Eastern Texas lies in the “very heavy” termite risk zone, while central and western Texas fall into the “moderate to heavy” zone. That means you’ll need a termite inspection to buy property anywhere in the state. 

    UTAH

    You’ll need to get a termite inspection for all home purchases in Utah when using your VA home loan, according to the VA website. 

    VERMONT

    The VA only requires termite inspections for Bennington and Windham counties in southern Vermont. VA appraisers may also require them in other counties of the state, depending on their assessment of your property’s wood-destroying insect risk. 

    VIRGINIA

    Virginia falls into the “moderate to heavy” termite infestation probability zone, so you’ll need a wood-destroying pest inspection when buying in this state. 

    WASHINGTON

    The VA usually doesn’t require termite inspections in Washington, but your VA appraiser may deem it necessary. If that is the case, state authorities require that the inspection also identifies rot and any conditions that are conducive to it, according to the VA.

    WEST VIRGINIA

    As a “moderate to heavy” termite risk state, expect to get a wood-destroying pest inspection when buying here. 

    WISCONSIN

    The VA requires termite inspections in the following counties, according to the VA:

    • Columbia
    • Crawford
    • Dane
    • Dodge
    • Grant
    • Green
    • Iowa
    • Jefferson
    • Kenosha
    • Lafayette
    • Milwaukee
    • Ozaukee
    • Racine
    • Richland
    • Rock
    • Sauk
    • Vernon
    • Walworth
    • Washington
    • Waukesha

    WYOMING

    In Wyoming, you won’t need a termite inspection unless your VA inspector finds evidence of an active or probable inspection since it is a state with a “none to slight” risk of wood-destroying insect infestation. 

    Written by Teresa Tennyson

    Teresa Tennyson is a journalist for Veteran.com. She is a retired army officer who served in several countries in the Middle East. Tennyson has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in business administration with a finance certificate from UCLA.

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