Termites and Wood Damage

Did you know termites cause over four billion dollars in property damage per year in the United States? That's more than fires and floods combined! Are you protected? Do you know the true condition of your home or property? 



What to Look For


UntitledSubterranean Termites

Home and business owners usually become aware of an infestation during "swarm season," when annual flights of winged termites (called alates) are instigated by heavy rains and warm weather. Termite swarmers are often mistaken with flying ants; however, swarmers lack the segmented body of the ant and have two sets of identical wings. Most alates can be found near plumbing voids, with their wings still attached. Another indicator that your property has a subterranean termite infestation is mud tubes, flattened and muddy-looking in appearance. The tubes provide shelter for the foraging termites and most are about the width of a pencil. They are most easily seen when extended over concrete foundations and other exposed surfaces.



 

UntitledDrywood Termites

Less common than subterranean termites, Drywood termites move quickly and easily throughout a structure. Typically, salt and pepper sized pellets are found on windowsills or baseboards indicating a Drywood termite infestation. If you have seen this type of evidence, call our office today to set up a free limited inspection to best determine the treatment method which will work best for you and your property.

 

UntitledWood Destroying Beetles

After termites, wood-boring beetles are the most important wood-destroying insects in homes. Wood-boring beetle eggs are practically invisible to the naked eye, but the damage the larvae cause can be extensive. The type of wood (hardwood or softwood), the moisture content of the wood, and the environmental conditions at the infestation site all affect the severity of beetle damage. Wood boring beetles can be very destructive to substructures, particularly those that have inadequate ventilation. Fumigation is the best method of eradicating wood boring beetles.


Wood Decay Fungi Damage

Commonly referred to as "dry rot", wood decay fungi damage is typically the largest problem facing home and business owners. Needing only a moisture source to grow, there are four main types of dry rot:


  • Untitled Cubicle Brown Rot: So named because the wood turns brown and cube-like in appearance. Once it dries, infested wood turns to powder if crushed.
  •  White Rot: Most often infesting hardwoods, the wood turns into a white spongy, stringy texture. This type of fungi can spread quickly into adjacent wood members and can cause significant damage.
  •  Soft Rot: This type of fungi can attract and transport water several feet through large, root-like structures (called rhizomorphs) and spread into sound wood.

  •  Surface Fungus: Often seen as fungus blooms or white streaks on the surface of the wood, this infection is usually found under deck boards or substructure wood members where the moisture content of the wood rises above 15%.



Proper Maintenance


Proper maintenance of your home will help prevent wood decay and preserve the life of your structure. Advanced IPM offers the following suggestions to maintaining your home:


- Annual WDO inspection


- Replacement of damaged wood


- Caulking and painting 


- Annual treatment with fungicides such as Timbor or Bora Care