Mostly, termites prefer the warmer climes. But that doesn't mean that they are that particular. Unless we're talking permafrost in Alaska, homes in just about any part of America are termite-prone. If you happen to live in one of these places, termite inspections twice a year should be considered mandatory if you want to keep your home.
Certainly, you could pay a professional to do this for you; if you are interested in saving a few hundred dollars though, a DIY termite inspection shouldn't be a bad idea. Especially since all you need are a keen eye and a willingness to get on your hands and knees and muck around a little bit.
Apart from the keen eye, you'll need a powerful flashlight too. A screwdriver and a small shovel to help you poke around a little bit could come in handy, too. Now if you see those telltale mud tunnels that termites like to build, you don't even need a real inspection your termite problem is real. You know what those mud tunnels look like, don't you? They are those veins of mud crawling up the walls sometimes. Most people know that those are termite-made; they just don't know why they make them. Those are tunnels, in fact. Those termites must feel safer walking about in there. When they find a food source somewhere, they just build a tunnel right to it from the ground up.
When you see stuff like this, the only thing left for you to do would be to check to see if the tunnel is still active right now. You just need to break off a section in the middle about an inch long, and see if there are any termites walking about in there. If so, well then, you do have a real problem. If the tunnel seems abandoned, make a note of it and come back to check it a week later.
But that is the easy part. Your next step in your termite inspection venture, would be to closely look at every part of your house to see where exactly there is a wood used, that is in contact with the earth. Even if it is treated wood that you're looking at, termites can still make short work of it. Everywhere that there is wood like this that contacts the ground, take a close look at it. Any steps that lead outside, the deck at the back and the porch in front they should all get a close inspection.
Here's where you need that screwdriver. Test the wood in the construction, anywhere that it is close to the earth, and poke it strongly with a screwdriver. If the screwdriver seems to just break through at points, that's a sign that there is termite activity. Any part of your house that has wooden construction material coming into contact with moist soil, is likely to be at risk. It would be good idea to make sure that no water drains close to the foundation.