Laws Regarding Termite Inspections in Tennessee


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture classifies termites as wood-destroying organisms (WDO). The Department regulates termite inspectors using several laws and regulations.


  • Tennessee mandates that termite inspections be performed only by authorized personnel. This includes chartered pest control operators licensed for wood-destroying organisms, employees of licensed chartered pest control operators, those certified in industrial, institutional, structural and health-related pest control and anyone working under direct supervision of a licensed pest control operator.


  • There are several terms used in regard to termite inspection laws in Tennessee. These include:

    Commercial Pest Control Operator: A person or business entity that engages in the custom application of pesticides or inspection of real property for the purpose of issuing a wood-destroying insect infestation inspection report and who has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Pest Control Licensing and Advisory Board his qualifications to design and direct pest control and inspection operations.

    Certification: The authorization given by the commissioner to issue a wood-destroying insect infestation inspection report.

    Charter: A type of permit issued by the Department of Agriculture to a business. It is required for each individual location, meaning that if a company has more than one office in Tennessee, each office must have its own charter. A charter also requires that there be at least one licensee in each category of service offered. A licensee can only be listed on one charter.


  • In Tennessee, a Wood-Destroying Insect Infestation Inspection Report, which is created after a termite inspection, is issued in conjunction with the sale or transfer of real estate.


  • Wood-Destroying Insect Infestation Inspection Reports must be completed after an on-site inspection of a property. Such reports must be warranted for 90 days of accuracy in the inspection report. Reports must be submitted on forms prescribed by the National Pest Management Association and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Report Contents

  • Inspection Reports must include:

    1. Evidences of the presence or absence of visible wood-destroying insects and the presence or absence of visible damage caused by such insects noted on the day the inspection is made.
    2. Obstructions and inaccessible areas.
    3. The address of the property.
    4. A graph or other diagram showing the layout of the property, the areas of damage or active infestation, if any.
    5. The name of the licensed or certified employee conducting the inspection.
    6. The pest control operator's name address and charter number.
    7. The date of the inspection and any recommendations for corrective action.


  • Disputes regarding termite inspections or other pest control related services may be resolved in a court of the appropriate state jurisdiction when they cannot be resolved between property owners, lenders and/or trustees and persons issuing a wood-destroying insect infestation inspection report.


  • In the event of a commercial pest control operation being sold or transferred, or any services or financing rights being transferred, any contracts for wood-destroying insect infestation inspections or other services shall be enforceable against the parties to which such assets, servicing or financing rights are transferred.


  • Anyone submitting inspection reports who does not hold a valid charter or valid license in the category of wood-destroying organisms would be committing a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, as of 2011.

Consumer Tips

  • To help ensure that an inspection is thorough, it’s best if the buyer is present at the property while the inspection is taking place. A typical inspection will take 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the home.

    It is a good idea to ask for a certificate of insurance from the termite inspection company. This certificate will provide you with a claim option in the event of fraud or negligence.


  • Photo Credit Tennessee state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from
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