Unfortunately, like most pest problems, you will find a problem after the fact than before. Termites are masters at going undetected until their damage is too late. You can avoid thousands of dollars of repair work if you simply have termite inspections performed annually. Some companies offer quarterly maintenance packages because a termite nest can be created almost anytime of year depending on where you live.
There are two basic types of termites, flying termites and the termites that don't fly. Both can create havoc in your home if you are not proactive on whether they exist or not.