right         Termites and other Wood Destroying Insects (WDI)

Termites and other wood destroying insects such as carpenter ants and powder post beetles can do serious damage to a home and greatly impact its value if not detected in a timely manner. In most areas of New Jersey termites and other wood destroying insects are a problem and it’s not unusual to find that the great majority of homes have had an infestation of some degree. 

How do I prevent a wood destroying insect infestation?

There are many steps you can take toward lowering your risk of an infestation if you know what to look for and take steps to make your home less attractive to them.

Subterranean termites, carpenter ants and wood boring beetles are insects that look for habitats that provide food, moisture and shelter. Damp wood provides one or more of these requirements for most wood destroying insects and fungi. Firewood, dead trees and stumps, decaying landscaping ties and mulch are all conducive to a WDI infestation. Wood siding, trim and framing members in close proximity or contacting the ground are a common entry point for termites.  Overgrown shrubbery and trees near the house, clogged gutters, poor surface drainage and damp foundation areas are also conditions that promote an infestation.


Eliminating these conditions and maintaining a dryer environment inside the house (especially in basements and crawlspaces) and around the exterior of the building should greatly reduce your risk.


leftHow do I know if my home has a wood destroying insect infestation?

In most cases homeowners only become aware of a WDI infestation when they see evidence of a termite swarm or large carpenter ants are observed marching up the walls inside the house.  Sometimes they are discovered when walls, floors or ceilings are opened up during a remodeling project. Usually, it takes a diligent inspection by an experienced, certified WDI inspector to detect evidence of an infestation.


Although a general home inspection does not typically include a WDI inspection it is usually included as an optional inspection in addition to the home inspection. It is highly recommended and is usually required by your mortgage company that you get a WDI inspection and certification that the house does not currently have any type of a WDI infestation.


If an active WDI infestation is discovered during the inspection it is typically the responsibility of the current homeowner to have the infestation treated and any damage found to be repaired.