THE COST OF TERMITES
A “Termite Inspection” is a general term used in the real estate industry, especially when required by lenders, to inspect for common wood-destroying insects, also known as a WDI Inspection. While we certainly inspect for the presence of termites, we also look for signs of carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, and carpenter bees.
The most common type of termite species in our region is the Eastern Subterranean Termite. Termites feed on wood (starch) and over time can cause severe damage to the wood structure of a home. Each year, termites cause damage to 600,000 homes at an estimated $5 billion in damage annually. By the time termite damage is discovered it typically costs homeowners $3,000 on average to repair the damage.
OTHER WOOD-DESTROYING INSECTS
The black carpenter ant is common almost everywhere and can be a major culprit of wood damage in a home. Unlike termites, the carpenter ants chew through wood but do not eat it. Carpenter ants are responsible for millions of dollars annually and can be difficult as the queen can live up to 25 years.
Powderpost beetles is a term that refers to several species of wood-destroying beetles. Like their other wood-destroying colleagues, they cause millions of dollars a year in daamage. Powderpost beetles are able to re-infest dry, seasoned wood several times over making them the second-worst cause of structural damage second only to termites.
A carpenter bee’s appearance is very similar to a bumblebee and it can be difficult to distinguish the two, especially when they’re in flight, and most people prefer not to be close enough to find out! However, carpenter bees are distinguished by their black, hairless abdomens compared to the bumblebee’s trademark fuzzy yellow abdomens.