Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) Inspections
All In One Home Inspection LLC is prepared to examine your home for Wood Destroying Insects and Organisms. The examination is an intensive visual investigation around the foundation inside and out, in crawl spaces, in living spaces, in attic spaces and in the attached/detached garage. We document our findings in the form of a written report that will conclude one of the following:
– No Prior Evidence of Infestation
– Prior Evidence of Infestation
– Evidence of a Current Infestation
The examination takes about 15 to 20 minutes and is scheduled with the Home Inspection or separately.
What are Termite swarms? During late winter or early spring, swarms of the reproductive caste may be noticed in outdoor areas or in infested buildings. These black, winged termites are the stage most commonly seen, since the other castes do not willingly expose themselves to light. Winged termites are attracted to light, and when they emerge within buildings, they swarm about doors and windows. After crawling or fluttering about for a short time, the termites break off their wings and locate a mate. Each pair attempts to locate moist wood in contact with the soil to start a new colony, but few succeed. Although they alarm the homeowner and can be a nuisance, no damage is done by the winged forms.
There are a variety of termites in the United States but they all have one thing in common: left alone, they’ll eat you out of house and home. The most common varieties, subterranean termites, consist of a queen, king, reproductives, workers, and soldiers.
What do termites eat? Termites eat cellulose, the basic building block of wood. Millions of homes in north America are built of wood, and if left unprotected or monitored, can fall prey to termite attack.
How do I know when I have a termite problem? Most homeowners will rarely see termites. These are secretive, cryptic insects that hide deep in wood or soil. However, during the spring and into the fall (depending of the species), termite colonies produce swarmers. These swarmers are new kings and queens. Their job is to start new colonies. Don’t worry, more than 99% will die in the first few days of life (birds, other insects, and a hostile environment all take their toll). Sometimes, for subterranean termites, you may also notice their shelter tubes. These tubes are about the diameter of a pencil (sometime larger) and are made of soil. If you break one open, you may see a live termite inside! Drywood termites will produce granular pellets, they look allot like large grains of pepper. However, they can vary in color. If you look closely with a hand lens, you can see the ridges on individual pellets. These ridges are diagnostic for drywood termites. Of course, if you are seeing mud tubes, swarmers and pellets in all rooms of the house, its’ definitely a problem and time to seek professional help. Real estate transfers may also require a termite inspection (normally these are highly recommended from lending institutions, they are not mandated by law). Finding signs of termite activity in your yard should not alarm you. Termites in and about the yard is normal and you will see these signs from time-to-time. Of course, if you do notice termite activity in the yard that appear odd or alarms you, seek out professional pest control help.
Can anything be done to prevent termites? Termites are only a problem if they gain access to wood, particularly those wooden members that make up our homes and surrounding decks and fences. Scrap wood, firewood, or cardboard lying under homes in sub-areas or near foundations walls can be a source of subterranean termite attack. All cellulose materials in soil-contact need to be removed. Subterranean and dampwood termites also like water. An additional preventative tactic includes the fixing or removal of sources of water. Leaking pipes, leaky irrigation systems, and over-watered planter boxes may be sources of attraction to termites. Sand barriers, metal barriers, and wood chemically treated have varying levels of success in preventing termite attack. For drywood termites, yearly walkabouts of your home looking for piles of pellets is a good preventive practice (remember area between walls and inaccessible locations will be difficult or impossible to visually inspect) If you are not sure if a pile was really produced by drywood termites, they can be vacuumed or swept away. If the piles reappear, it probably time to seek professional help. Finally, there is some evidence that certain forms of chemically treated wood (pressure-treated and professionally topically applied) can prevent the establishment of new colonies by termite kings and queens.