Pests To Be On The Lookout For When Buying A Home In NOVA

05/12/2015


Termites   

The meaning of the American Dream for many is to own their own home. This is the biggest and most exciting purchase and investment a family will make. Much care will go into the selection of the style of home, the location and the purchase price.  A critical step in the choice of which home to buy will involve a thorough inspection of the home prior to commitment to own. This inspection is usually done by a certified home inspector and should include inspecting for infestation and possible damage from wood eating pests.

There are certain insects that can cause extensive damage to houses and other wooden structured buildings in Northern Virginia. The most notable of these wood destroying insects are carpenter ants, subterranean termites and powderpost beetles. While a pre-purchase inspection is vital, regularly scheduled pest inspections after purchase is also highly recommended.

Carpenter ants are one of the larger species of ant measuring 3/8 to ½ inch in length. They are black in color although they occasionally will have a dark red appearance. One notable characteristic is that the carpenter ant does not eat wood. They feed on other insects as well as sweets and other human consumables. The destruction from carpenter ants comes from them tunneling into wooden structures and creating galleries and nesting areas. The parent colony of carpenter ants may very well be outside with several satellite colonies nesting inside the wooden structure of the home.

Termites pose a constant threat to homeowners as they can show up anytime. Unfortunately, these silent destroyers may be working and eating away at the home for a long time before there is any visible signs of damage. Every home, regardless of the type of construction, has cellulose-based materials and becomes a feeding ground for those foraging termites. The subterranean termite is the most common and their nests are usually formed outside in the ground. Mud tunnels are formed out of the ground and up the side of the foundation to a point of entry through which they travel to forage for food. 

Powderpost beetle is a term that references several species of wood eating insects. Some powderpost beetles like the luyctid prefer hardwoods and want relatively new wood. Any wood older than 5 years is normally not targeted. Also, rafters, studs and other pieces of framework are usually pine or other softwood and again, not enticing to the luyctid powderpost beetle. However, the anobiid powderpost beetle will attack both hardwoods and softwoods, placing every wooden portion of the building in jeopardy. As with other wood destroying insects, early detection is necessary.

As you can see, the presence of any of these wood destroying insects means a potential of serious damage. Be sure to consult with American Pest for a thorough inspection prior to purchasing your new home.






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