Termites, ants and other wood boring insects like powder post beetles are a serious threat to the main structure of your home. They can weaken structure of a home, and often the extent of the damage can be difficult to see.
- Termites - Prevalent throughout the US and in southern parts of some Canadian provinces (B.C. and Vancouver Island being definite places). They range in size from 1/4" (worker) to 1/2" (queen). Termintes have a large social structures and their infestations often start from as few as 50 insects.
- Carpenter Ants - Prevalent in many parts of the world, they are large (.25 to 1 in or 0.64 to 2.5 cm) and prefer dead damp wood to house their nests. The damage they create is often limited - but getting rid of an infestation can be challenging.
- Other Wood Boring Insects - Powder Post Beetles, round head beetles and furniture beetles can all infest homes and cottages.
Evidence of Damage: There are several indicators of insect damage but, the full extent of the damage may not be obvious as the real damage maybe concealed.
- Look for spiders in your crawlspace - spiders eat bugs, so spiders in a closed in area means you might have some insects,
- Saw dust is often a sign of carpenter ants,
- A small amount of "frass" (terminte fecal matter) may be found outside small kick holes.
- Look for evidence of shed wings
- Blistered wood is another possible indication if the termites are close to the surface of the wood
- Probe the wood - or into holes to see if there is evidence of termites.
- Using a stethescope against the wood may reveal their activity
If you have any of these, its important to determine the type of insect problem you have and to start elimiation of the problem as quickly as possible.
Just because you can't see any of these indicators doesn't mean you don't currently have a problem - nor that you won't have one in the future. Moisture and rot are the biggest contributors to creating a nice home for termites, ants or wood boring insects. Control of these factors will ensure your home is not a likely place to be called home to a termite.
Moisture & Rot Control
In order for wood to rot it requires the growth of fungus in it. The ideal conditions that can lead to fungus growth are produced by warm temperatures (in a space), oxygen, wood and moisture. Check all places around your home at ground level - paying close attention if you have windows at ground level. Avoid having any wood in direct contact with the soil. Also check inside your crawlspace, check the moisture level in there - it should be dry!
- Ensure adequate ventilation in or under porches, and crawlspaces.
- Replace any wood that is obviously rotted,
- Check for adequate flashing at joints to promote good drainage.
- Repair leaking roofs and gutters, and
- Make sure pipes (especially in bathrooms and kitchens) are not leaking or creating condensation as they will promote areas of rot in the wood surrounding them.
- Keep landscaping clear of your home as the root structures can move infestations right beside your home.
- Firewood storage needs to be kept well back from the home as these insects will often be in firewood.
Control of the environments that created the problem go a long way to getting rid current and control of future problems but if you have an infestation, the use of a commerical liscenced pest control specialist may be necessary. They will need to chemically treat the effected buildings (and any that are attached). Most can offer a warranty that will be based on an annual inspection, where any re-infestation will be treated by the contractor.
Keep your home - YOUR home.
Looking for a home inspection - one that can provide you with an analysis to prioritize the repairs around your valued investment? Give us a call: We can give you a quote, and then visit to assist you in knowing what to repair when and by what professional. 250-339-5399 or 1-800-667-0150.