Termites & Wood Destroying Insects

Home Inspections 101

Termites and other wood destroying insects cause billions of dollars in damage each year. Termites are the most notorious pests, but you can also have carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and their lesser known friends—powder post beetles, and aptly named old house borers. Since a termite inspection report is typically a requirement for a home loan, this is an important step in the home inspection process. Signs of infestations include:

  • Drill holes
  • Evidence of shelter tubes
  • Sawdust
  • Small piles of feces
  • Small piles of wings that resemble fish scales

A termite shelter tube is what termites travel through to avoid sunlight, so they start below ground and work their way up. Even if a shelter tube is wiped away, it would leave behind stains. Sawdust is another strong indicator, so if you spot sawdust in or around your house (and you haven't been handymanning on your own), look around for insect drill holes. You don't want critters gnawing away at your investment, and the thought of thousands of winged termites emerging inside of your home is the stuff of Alfred Hitchcock nightmares. Bill Bitz says that a good coat of paint on all exposed wood is your best defense against wood destroying insects, and an annual internal and external inspection is a good preventive measure for your home and peace of mind.

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