Wood-destroying insects cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage each year—and yet, it’s something that many homeowners don’t think about until they have a problem. Unfortunately, that out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitude can cost you, big. An average colony of termites can eat about one foot of wood in six months. Over time, a colony could tear through your entire home. Fortunately, there are solutions out there. In Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York/Long Island and New Jersey, home- owners have long trusted Viking Pest Control. Among those helping solve homeowners’ pest problems is Dale Wisser, a technician for Viking who says that he has been in the industry for 53 years. He could retire—but he enjoys it way too much. With that many decades of experience in the field, Wisser has learned exactly what to look for and has likely saved homeowners hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years by spotting problems early on.
WDIR: An Invaluable Report
One of his regular services is producing WDIRs—or, Wood Destroying Insect Reports. These are incredibly important before buying or selling a home. Last year, Wisser performed 882 of these reports and this year he’s on track to perform more than 1,000. He says that he prefers to perform them with the Realtor and the homebuyer (or seller) present, so that he can explain exactly what he finds.
“I work a lot of weekends and my phone is on 24/7 so that I can make myself available to homeowners on their time,” says Wisser, confirming how much he enjoys this line of work. “You might be surprised to find me still crawling under homes at my age, but I love what I do and I’m passionate about it.”
In his years in the field, Wisser has seen it all and he admits that no home is safe from termites.
He has seen 100-year-old homes with not a single problem and brand-new homes that are completely infested. Wisser explains that termites are subterranean pests that move about in the soil. When they come upon wood, they quickly take up residence—along with tens of thousands of their closest friends. An average termite colony contains between 60,000 to 1,000,000 pests. For this reason, it doesn’t take long for them to do serious damage.
Of course, Wisser says that termites are not the only wood-destroying insect that home-owners should be aware of. There are also carpenter ants and bees, which can do damage—though not quite as bad as the termite. In addition to wood-destroying insect control, Viking Pest Control also handles a complete gamut of pest control services including dealing with stinging insects, ants, rodents, bird control and more. Wisser says that he is licensed to perform work in the tri-state area and on any given day you might find him in Maryland, Delaware, or Pennsylvania, performing various pest control services.
Even if you’re not buying or selling your home, Wisser says that there is much peace of mind that can be gained from having regular pest control checks performed. It’s easy for home- owners not to think much about pests until they have a problem—but at that point, the damage could already be extremely costly.
“Termites start out in the ground and are often doing their damage underneath your home, where you can’t see them,” Wisser says. “We perform quarterly, bi-annual and annual checks in which we’re looking for pests like ants, mice, roaches and wood-destroying insects. By spotting these problems early— before a true infestation—we can prevent a lot of damage.”
While homeowners have a lot of options when it comes to choosing pest control services, Viking stands out from the pack. With Wisser’s decades of experience, there are few that have quite the same level of dedication and passion. Wisser also says that his willingness to take calls around the clock sets him apart.
“This is my working life—and I love it,” he admits. “I have been doing this a long time and get most of my business from referrals these days. It means a lot that homeowners trust me with their pest control needs and were happy enough with my services to refer me to friends. I’m proud how much our business has grown through word of mouth.”