Residential Pest Control Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) Inspections
AHI is well known we in our market we are a family owned business, who is a part of your community.
Servicing Central Ohio and surrounding areas. We are licensed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in wood destroying insect inspections.
We have fully trained and individually state licensed inspectors.
Our inspectors are required to take continuing education and training, this commitment ensures that we have the latest knowledge in the pest inspection industry.
Licensing: Ohio Department of Agriculture
- America’s Home Inspecions Licensed Contractor
- Rick L. Schaffer License ID 123777
- Jeff E.Berling License ID 123776
America’s Home Inspection’s
Performs Wood Destroying Insect inspections for all real estate transfers: FHA, VA, HUD, & Conventional Mortgages.
Please note: The insects being observed are Termites, Carpenter Ants, Carpenter Bees, and Powder Post Beetles.
- Pests are more than annoying; they can pose serious risks to your health and property. America’s Home Inspection’s has extensive training to find these unwanted invaders
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments one may make during their lifetime. To help protect this investment, many banks and lending institutions require that homes be inspected for damage from termites or other wood-destroying insects before closing the sale of the home. A Wood-Destroying Insect Inspection Report (WDI) is a document prepared by a licensed pest control operator that informs the lending institution and buyer about termite damage or presence.
Although the report indicates any visible evidence of infestation or previous treatment, it does not guarantee the absence of wood-destroying insects. An inspection is an important tool in evaluating the soundness of a structure, but there are limitations. America’s home inspections can provide the WDI report with a quick turnaround for prompt real estate closings.
The Eastern subterranean termite is a serious economic timber pest causing millions of dollars of damage throughout the areas where it is located. It is estimated that more than 1 in 5 homes in the moderate and heavy activity areas, have been or will be attacked at sometime by these voracious little insects. Approximately $750 Million in property is destroyed annually by termites. That's over 2 million homes nationwide.
Termites feed on the cellulose found in wood, paper and mulch and are known to penetrate non-cellulose materials like drywall, stucco and plastic to find and get to wood. A termite ground attack is carried out through cracks in the foundation due to voids in concrete blocks, spaces between joined slabs, gaps in plumbing pipes or fractures in walls. Termites can even come from a neighboring house that is infested.
Unfortunately, they can't tell the difference between a dead tree and your house. If they come across your home's foundation while foraging, they'll follow any cracks or crevices into your home. They may even enter through wood in contact with the soil or by building pencil-sized mud tunnels from ground levels to where the house's wood frame begins.
As a protective measure, banks and lending institutions require that homes be inspected for damage from termites or other wood-destroying insects before closing the sale of the home. A Wood-Destroying Insect Inspection Report (WDIIR) is a document prepared by a licensed pest control business, like ourselves, that informs the lending institution and buyer about termite damage or presence.
In generating a written WDIIR, we will look for wood destroying insects that are present in the structure, evidence of prior infestation, and the presence of any visible damage to the structure caused by wood destroying insects.
Subterranean Termite Facts
Termites cause over $2 billion in damages each year. Subterranean termites cause 95 percent of all termite damage in North America. Colonies can contain up to 1 million members.
Three “castes” of a termite colony: workers are approximately 6 mm long, light-colored and wingless; soldiers have elongated heads with mandibles; reproductives are dark-colored and have two pair of equal-length wings.
Behavior, Diet & Habit
Live in colonies underground, from which they build tunnels in search of food; able to reach food above the ground level by building mud tubes; dependent on moisture for survival. Diet consists of wood and other cellulose material.
Different rates of growth from egg stage to adult, depending on individual species; one primary queen per colony, which can lay tens of thousands of eggs in its lifetime, but eggs also can be laid by supplementary reproductives in an established colony.
Signs of a Subterranean Termite Infestation
A subterranean termite infestation begins when warm temperatures and heavy rainfall trigger an established colony to send out a swarm of winged termites. Swarms consist of winged reproductive males and females. Subterranean termite colonies are usually active for three to five years before winged reproductives appear. Winged, reproductive termites are frequently mistaken for flying ants, but are smaller than ants and have straight, rather than bent, antennae. Termite swarmer’s have four wings that are all the same size. Ant swarmer’s have two large wings in front and two smaller wings behind. After mating, swarmer termites land and shed their wings, leaving them in piles that resemble fish scales. If there are piles of wings on windowsills of your home, check to see if they are all the same size. They could be termite wings especially if they are all the same size.
If you are constructing a new home, especially in a high-risk area, it is advisable that you obtain estimates from reliable professionals for termite-proofing your home. Pest control professionals are best equipped to take preventive measures, which could save homeowners from severe loss. Pest control experts will also be able to make recommendations that can help to prevent termite infestation.
There are over 2,300 described species of termite living today. Many of them are found in tropical and subtropical regions such as deserts and rain forests. However, there are more than 50 species that have been found living in the United States. Collectively, they are responsible for an average of $1 billion per year in property damages, infesting 350,000 structures.
These numerous species are broken down into subterranean termites, damp wood termites and drywood termites. The three types of termites differ in colony-building habits and preferred climate. Subterranean termites build large colonies underground, which are composed of elaborate tunnels and chambers. Worker termites then construct protective tunnels made of mud and saliva in order to reach above-ground wood. When subterranean termites eat wood, they fill it with soil to help maintain the humidity. If mud tunnels are visible on the walls or foundation of your home, it is highly likely that you are experiencing a subterranean termite infestation.
Alternatively, dry wood termites make their nests within cellulose-based materials such as lumber, siding and wooden trim. They require no soil contact and get their moisture from the wood. They also attack floors, furniture and books. Dry wood termites can be more difficult to detect and aren’t typically noticeable until small piles of pellets (their feces) collect.
Damp wood termites locate their colonies in wood that is wet and even decaying. Wood that is in contact with the soil or wood that is constantly wet are ideal nesting sites for these termites. They are common in the Southwest and along the Pacific Coast. They are also found in Florida. If your home has leaky pipes or other moisture situations, it may be attractive to damp wood termites.
Distribution of Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites are found throughout the United States, but are relatively scarce in the colder states. They occur in greater numbers in warm, southern states. However they exist in every state except Alaska. They are most common in the humid, subtropical south between Florida and Southern California.
Carpenter Ant Facts
All kinds of buildings, regardless of age or type of construction, are vulnerable to infestation and damage by carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are very difficult to control. Colonies can contain up to 50,000 workers.
Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the United States, ranging from 3.4 to 13 mm long. The most common color is black, but some species have reddish or yellowish coloration. Workers have large mandibles.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Carpenter ants reside both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut galleries into the wood grain to form their nests and provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. This activity produces wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants which provides clues to nesting locations.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they will feed on a variety of food people eat—particularly sweets and meats. They will also feed on other insects.
Queen lays 9 to 16 eggs the first year and may live up to 25 years. Eggs complete their life cycle in about 6 to 12 weeks.
Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation
Carpenter ant workers and swarmers (winged ants) are the most likely sign homeowners observe. The workers may be observed foraging for food. Swarmers usually are produced when a colony matures and is ready to form new colonies. These winged individuals often indicate a well-established colony. An additional sign of carpenter ant activity is the debris they produce from tunneling in the wood. Rough wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants from the colony indicate carpenter ant nesting activity. A final sign may be the “rustling” sound sometimes heard as the ants go about their activity in the home’s wood.
Ants of the genus Camponotus are known as carpenter ants because they prefer to establish their colonies in galleries excavated from damp or damaged wood. Carpenter ants do not eat wood as termites do, but instead remove wood and deposit the debris outside of their nests in small piles.
Carpenter ants clean their nesting sites, and their galleries are not lined with mud or moist soil as termite galleries typically are. Carpenter ant workers keep their galleries as smooth as sandpapered wood.
Carpenter ants vary in size, ranging from 3.4 to 13 mm in length. One carpenter ant colony can contain different sizes of ants, depending on caste and responsibility. The color of carpenter ants also varies among species, ranging from jet-black to dark brown, red, black, yellow, orange, yellowish tan or light brown. They are most commonly black, but some carpenter ants exhibit both red and black coloration. They are common in many parts of the world.
Identification of carpenter ant species can be made only through careful observation of specific physical characteristics.
In natural environments, carpenter ants dwell in both dead and living trees, stumps and rotting logs. However, they may also establish their nests inside of homes and buildings where wood is found. Carpenter ants prefer to establish nests in areas where wood has been exposed to severe moisture.
Carpenter ants build two types of nests: parent colonies and satellite colonies. Parent colonies consist of a queen, her brood and workers. Satellite colonies consist of workers, older larvae and pupae. Workers create satellite colonies when the parent colony lacks sufficient space or when there is a suitable supply of food or water. There may be several satellite colonies associated with a parent colony.
In controlling an infestation of carpenter ants, it is necessary to first find the nest. Once found, it can be removed or treated chemically. All moisture conditions that the ants found conducive must be corrected.
If treated early, carpenter ants are seldom responsible for serious structural damage to houses and buildings. However, these ants could cause extreme damage if they continue undiscovered for an extended period. Thus, it is best to contact a pest control professional in the event of an infestation. It is advisable to seek professional help in containing carpenter ant infestations, as incorrect procedures may allow the colony to rebound when surviving members resume their burrowing and foraging.
Carpenter bees get their name from their habit of making holes in wood. There are several species of carpenter bees in the United States. One of the most common species is Xylocopa virginica (L). This is probably also the most destructive carpenter bee. Its range extends from Kansas to Texas and eastward to the Atlantic.
Carpenter bees are fairly large, 12.5 to 25 mm in length. They resemble bumblebees, except that their abdomen is smooth and mostly hairless. Male carpenter bees are very territorial, but they have no stinger. Females have a potent stinger, but seldom sting.
Female carpenter bees make holes in wood in order to deposit their eggs. They make their galleries in almost any wooden object they find. They attack decks, siding, landscape timbers and even lawn furniture. They seem to prefer unpainted and unstained wood, but they will also attack painted or stained wood.
The female carpenter bee makes a hole in the wood about the same size as her body. The female bores a hole to a depth of 25 mm, makes a right angle turn, and burrows along the grain of the wood. Galleries may extended 10 to 15 cm. Older galleries that have been reused may extend up to 3 meters long. The sawdust and wood shavings on the ground are often a clue that carpenter bees are active.
The female carpenter bee puts some pollen and other food in the gallery and then deposits an egg. She seals the compartment with chewed wood pulp and then repeats the process. When she has finished, the gallery will have several compartments with an egg in each one. Depending on the species and the climate, the eggs develop into adult bees in 36 to 99 days.
Carpenter bees are not social insects. Each female lays her own eggs. However, several females may attack the same piece of wood. In many cases, they even share a gallery. Over time, carpenter bees can cause significant damage.
The term “powderpost beetle” may refer to several different kinds of wood-infesting beetles. The term is used for: 1) beetle species that only infest hardwoods (such as flooring, trim, or even ornamental pieces), or 2) for beetles that infest softwoods (such as wall framing and support joists).
The damage produced by these beetles may be small round holes (about the size of pencil lead). The first sign of an infestation is usually a small amount of powder, called frass. The frass appears in or around a piece of wood that has been attacked by the beetle larvae.
The appearance of the frass is a clue to the type of beetle that has been active inside the wood. If the powder is a little gritty when rubbed between your fingers, then it is a sign of anobiid beetle damage. If the frass is soft and not gritty, then it is a sign of lyctid beetle activity.
LYCTID POWDERPOST BEETLES (Family Lyctidae). The damage from these small (1/8 inch) beetles may be found in various places in the house, such as kitchen cabinets, baseboard trim, hardwood flooring and in ornamental pieces of wood such as picture frames. They infest only hardwoods, and generally infest only new wood, usually less than five years old. They can reinfest the wood. The life cycle takes 1-2 years.
ANOBIID POWDERPOST BEETLES (Family Anobiidae). The damage from these small (1/8 inch) beetles may be found in floor joists in crawl spaces of houses, and sometimes in attic joists and wall studs. They infest primarily softwood, but will also attack hardwoods. Their life cycle is 1-2 years, and they will continually reinfest structural wood, sometimes causing structural damage.
CONTROL of these beetles begins with first determining that there is an active infestation. The holes and the powder that falls from the holes may exist for many years, but is NOT an indication that there are beetles alive in the wood at this time. If the infestation is active, there will be recent holes or the sound of feeding may be heard.
The treatment will depend on the severity of the infestation. The simplest treatment is to remove and replace the infested wood. Other options include application of liquid insecticide to the surface of the infested wood or injection of liquid into the feeding galleries.
Pieces of furniture can be fumigated in a special vault or chamber. Tenting and fumigation of the entire structure is usually reserved for severe infestations. The insecticides used for control will work by killing the larval stage or the adult stage when it emerges from the wood.
What are the tendencies of powder post beetles? Can they live in moisture content of less than 5 percent? Will they migrate and how?
ANSWER: Some powder post beetles can survive at moisture contents below 5 percent, depends on what stage they are in.
When the adult beetle comes out of the wood, they may reinfest that same wood, or they may move to another area to lay their eggs. They can also be transported—firewood is the most common method.
When firewood has been stored near the fireplace, adult beetles can come out of the logs and move into some of the wood around the room. From there the infestation can spread through the house. This is why we recommend keeping wood piles outside and away from the house. Only bring firewood inside when you intend to burn it.
If you suspect your home has been subjected to an infestation of wood-boring beetles, call America’s home inspections will gladly conduct a thorough whole-home inspection.