These insects cause structural damage by boring holes, tunnels, and galleries through wood. Although insect action is common to most houses, the bottom line is this- since treatment to stop a current condition and structural repairs are expensive, you must anticipate insect action
and protect your home.
unlike other wood damaging insects, actual obtain nourishment from wood.
Typically termite colonies exist in the ground, however colonies can live
inside if there is a constant source of moisture within the
Termites are abundant in the New York City-Long Island region as well as many
areas throughout the country.
Because termites are very insidious, termite action and damage is difficult to
detect. Generally, there are no outward signs of wood damage as
indication of an infestation nor is
there any accumulation of wood powder (tell-tail signs of a type of wood boring
insects) or frass type sawdust (tell-tail signs of Carpenter Ants).
Frequently termites are discovered by: observing termite mud tubes,
observing a termite swarm or shedded wings, collapse of damaged wood, or
termite action that is exposed during an alteration.
As a buyer the best thing that can happen is that a termite condition is discovered
during a professional pest control inspection prior to purchasing the
house. The cost of the treatment and repairs is then the responsibility
of the seller. If the swarm or action is discovered after you purchase
the premises the cost of treatment and repair is your responsibility.
If no termite action was visible or the house was previously treated , to protect your investment and reduce your risk,
buyer needs to cover the
premises with a termite service contract with annual inspections.
In detecting a termite condition it is important to know the difference
between swarming termites and ants and to recognize tell-tail signs. See the
Ants vary in length from 1/4 to more than 1/2 inch and are mostly black with some varieties with some red. In the New York City area these insects are typically
active from beginning of May to the end of September with the greatest
activity and damage occurring during the warm summer months.
Carpenter ants seek out wet and rotting wood. Typical conditions that
cause carpenter ant infestations are: roof or roof flashing leaks, leaking
pipes, leaking bathroom and kitchen fixtures, wet areas under washing machines and
dishwashers, wet basements, and wood that is in contact with wet
Generally carpenter ants are discovered by: observing ants in the house,
observing unexplained sawdust called frass, and wood damage observed during
alterations. Frass is a coarse like sawdust that is created when the
carpenter ants bore through wood and deposit the excavated material outside of
the tunnels or galleries. See the
Carpenter Ant Photos
section for typical conditions.
Pesticide treatment for active carpenter ant conditions will control this
insect but the key method for control is to eliminate the interior
moisture/wetness and wood rot.
Wood Boring Insects
This type of wood damaging insect is typically called powder post beetles.
These wood damaging insects change the excavated wood into a fine powder that
is deposited under the circular bored holes in the wood member, thus the
name powder post beetles.
The presence of fresh powder under a bored hole indicates a current condition.
Generally powder post beetles are detected by: observing the bored holes in
wood members, observing the fine powder, and discovering the wood damage
during alterations. See the
Wood Boring Photos for
Carpenter Bees Photos
There are other wood damaging insects and funguses.
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