What are wood destroying organisms?

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Termites, carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and carpenter bees are wood-destroying organisms (WDO) that can do massive damage to a home and greatly impact its value.

One of the most invasive of these insects is the subterranean termite. In humid areas where termites are more of a problem, it’s not unusual to find a home that has been virtually hollowed out, their wood siding turning to dust at a touch. 

There are many steps you can take towards preventing infestation if you know what termites are looking for. Termites are ground insects that look for habitats that provide food, moisture, and shelter close to the ground: any moist place where wood meets ground. Correcting this situation may require regrading to separate soil from any wood. Since mulch and many other landscaping materials cause the soil to remain moist, you should make sure to minimize mulching around your foundation. Some experts recommend mulching no closer than a foot from your home’s foundation. You should also stack your firewood away from your home and you should also make sure to eliminate any moisture problems in and around your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces. 

What should I do?

It takes an trained expert to detect damage from WDOs. Home inspections do not normally include a WDO inspection, so it is highly recommended that you get one in addition to your home inspection. Breakwater Inspections can perform a WDO inspection for you at the time of your inspection or at any other time that you may wish.