According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites cause over $5 billion in property damage every year in the United States. And that's not even factoring in the costs the other wood-destroying insects like ants and beetles also cause on an annual basis.
If you're thinking of buying or selling a home, the last thing you want to deal with is structural damage due to wood-destroying insects. That's one of the many reasons why new home inspections are such a good idea.
But if you're still not convinced, keep reading. We're sharing with you five more reasons why a pest and a termite inspection is a smart idea.
1. New Home Inspections Are Legally Required in Most States
There are two types of home inspections. A basic home inspection looks at the structural condition of the home.
That includes HVAC, plumbing, roofing, and electrical. But there's another type of home inspection you may need.
While you can find termites in every state but Alaska, they're more prevalent in some areas than in others. Over 30 states require pest inspections before buyers can close on a home loan.
Other states are more discretionary. However, there are also states where it's the individual counties rather than the state that mandates inspections.
You'll need to hire a licensed professional to do the WDO (wood destroying organisms) inspection. After doing a thorough home inspection, you'll receive a wood-destroying insect report (WDIR).
2. Termite Damage Might Lower the Value of Your Home
Whether you're buying or selling a home, finding out there's a wood destroying insect problem is stressful. Potential buyers will not want to spend additional money fixing costly structural damage to a home, therefore, giving a lower offer to compensate for repair costs. Other potential buyers looking for a move-in-ready home may not want to complete repairs on a home caused by wood-destroying insects.
3. Can Help You Prevent Further Damage
Thankfully, whether an inspector finds an infestation or not, there are steps you can take to prevent further damage such as:
- Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet away from the home
- Reduce and eliminate excess moisture in and around the home
- Repair any leaks
- Repair any structural damage to the home, including the roof
- Replace weatherstripping around windows
- Divert water away from the house
- Monitor the foundation and any areas of the home containing wood
It's also a good idea to schedule an annual inspection with a professional pest control company, like Viking Pest. We are experts at knowing exactly where wood-destroying insects such as termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees live and hide.
4. You'll Find Out There's a Problem
While termites are slow eaters, the longer they're left unbothered, the more damage they can do. And there are other insects that also eat wood.
What do home inspectors look for? Here are the wood-destroying organisms the home inspector looks for:
- Live insects
- Dead insects
- Shelter tubes
- Damaged wood galleries
- Damaged wood holes
- Carpenter bee staining
Each wood-destroying organism has its own preferred habitat and leaves behind specific clues to help you identify what it is.
If you poke wood using a screwdriver and the tip goes in easily or it sounds hollow when you tap the wood with the handle, you know there's a termite problem.
Termites eat anything containing cellulose. That's anything from wood to art frames.
Carpenter ants make nests in damp and decayed wood. They're most common in the northern states.
You'll see swarms in the spring. They also leave piles of frass, which is a mixture of wood shavings and fecal matter.
Carpenter ants eat anything from wood to human food.
Carpenter bees are common everywhere. They like to burrow into wood to make their nests.
You'll find carpenter bees hovering near siding, decks, and eaves. While they're less likely to cause serious structural damage, their entry holes into wood can let in moisture.
Powderpost beetles like to lay their eggs in wood pores, cracks, and crevices. They're found in every state.
They leave powdery deposits of frass and tiny holes in wood. They're most prevalent from May through August.
5. The WDIR Gives You Information to Help You Make Decisions
Most insurance companies won't cover insect damage. If you're thinking of buying an older home, there's a good chance that home will show some signs of an infestation.
But even if the inspection does reveal WDO activity, that may not mean it's all bad news. It could be that those signs are leftover from a previous infestation that's already been taken care of.
Qualified home inspectors know the differences between current and past WDO activity. You'll even receive a guarantee or a written statement from the inspector.
Knowledge Is Power
This information as a buyer will help you understand the history of infestations in the home you're about to buy. You'll also know which structural repairs have been made and which repairs still need to be made.
And don't forget that in some areas, minor infestations are commonplace. Discuss your options with your realtor and attorney.
Let Viking Pest Complete Your WDIR
New home inspections don't have to be scary. They can alert you to an issue before it becomes a problem.
If the report does show an infestation, it's time to call in the experts at Viking. We're the number one in pest control. Contact us today for your free and no-obligation estimate at 1-800-618-2847.