Dr. Jim Fredericks: Hi! I am Dr. Jim Fredericks, Chief Entomologist with the National Pest Management Association. Today I would like to share some crucial advice for homebuyers about wood destroying insects and the damage they can cause to homes.
Wood destroying insects like carpenter ants and powder post beetles can cause significant structural damage to homes, but the most destructive wood destroying insects are termites. And since termite damages typically not cover by Homeowners insurance consumers can end up footing the bill on some costly repairs. In fact termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage each year.
To help avoid devastating termite damage builds arrange for a wood destroying insect inspection, sometimes called a WGI or WGO report during the home buying process. Typically this is an additional inspection on top of the normal home inspections.
A qualified pest professional has the specialized training and knowledge about termite infestations that most home inspectors might not have. Some mortgage lenders may even require a WDI inspection. Even if a WDI inspection isn't required it can save you money in the long run because if you uncover infestation after purchasing the home you'll be responsible for the treatment and repair costs.
Termites are often called silent destroyers because they can eat away at your home 24-hour a day, seven days a week often without any easy to detect visual evidence. Sure signs of the termite problem are seeing swarm of termites or the wings that they leave behind which are often found near windows particularly in the springtime. Other signs can include mud shelter tubes and damage wood.
Once you've purchased your home there are several things you can do to prevent these destructive pests from gaining access to your home, keep basements and crawlspace dry, repair leaking pipes, keep mulch away from the foundation and direct rainwater from downspouts away from your house.
Once you're in your home, it's important to have a termite inspection done every year to make sure they haven't taken up residence with you. So when it comes to wood destroying insect threats get the necessary inspection before you buy, it can insure the structural integrity of your home save you money in the long term and offer peace of mind.