According to a recent survey by the National Pest Management Association, 52 percent of Americans have never had their home inspected for termites or other wood-destroying organisms (WDO). These insects can silently cause extensive damage that is rarely covered by homeowner insurance. The most prevalent wood-destroying organisms include but are not limited to termites, powderpost beetles, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees. Here are some telltale signs you may have an infestation:

Termites: There are three major types of termites: subterranean, drywood, and Formosan. Signs of a termite infestation include: discarded wings, mud tubes, wood that sounds hollow when tapped, cracked or bubbling paint and sawdust (termite droppings). It is important to note that termites can be found up 150 feet away from their colony in search of food. The NPMA reports that these “silent destroyers” cause $5 billion in documented damage every year.

Powderpost Beetles: These 3 mm wood-eating beetles are known to cause as much damage as termites. Like termites, a powderpost beetle’s larvae will tunnel their way through the wood in your home. Most homeowners do not realize they have a powderpost beetle infestation as most of the damage occurs inside the wood. The only visible signs of damage produced by these small beetles are round pencil lead sized holes.

Carpenter Ants: These black ants are the largest ants in the United States, measuring in around 13 mm long. They can be found inside and outside your home cutting passages in damp, damaged, decaying or hollow wood with their mandibles. It is important to note that these insects do not eat wood, but rather snack on a wide variety of people food. Wood shavings are a major sign of a carpenter ant infestation. These ants may or may not have wings.

Carpenter Bees: These destructive bees look like bumblebees, with the exception of their smooth, bare abdomens, and measure 12.5 to 25 mm in length. Like carpenter ants, carpenter bees like to carve holes in any piece of wood that they find, especially exposed, unfinished wood outdoors. Over time, these bees can cause significant damage.

If you are hoping to sell your home or rent out a property, a WDO inspection will inform sellers, prospective buyers and lenders about any infestations and damage to the home due to wood-destroying organisms. Even if you are not looking to sell your home, a WDO inspection performed by a certified pest management specialist can bring you and your family peace of mind.

If you are in need of a WDO inspection, schedule an appointment by calling us at 1-800-524-8544.