Ants, Beetles, and Termites, Oh My- How to Rid Your House of These Tiny Trespassers

Exterminator
Exterminator

Your home is one of the most sacred and comforting places that you spend time. How comfortable would you be if you knew that there were hundreds or thousands of tiny little terrorists silently invading your home? Wouldn’t you want to know where they are and how to get rid of them? What if these trespassers were not only inhabiting your home, but also destroying it from the studs out? Would this make you want to take immediate action to defend your castle? Of course, it would. Sadly, many of us don’t know that we have these tiny, terrible visitors until it is too late and they have created thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. There are some simple ways that you can prevent these interlopers from destroying your domicile. Following the information here can help you on your way to a pest free environment!What Wood Destroying Organisms (WDOs) Are and Why You Need to Be Weary of Them Wood destroying organisms are those nasty creepy crawlies that are silently eating away at your home. This list includes subterranean termites, dry wood termites, damp wood termites, powder post beetles, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees. Each of these bugs have their own unique way of slowly destroying your home, plank by plank:Facts About WDOs

Termites:

Termites
Termites
  • Three types: subterranean, dry wood and damp wood
  • Are the worst offenders
  • Live in all of the states in the United States
  • Silently eat wood 24 hrs/ day

Beetles:

  • Most common is the powder post beetle
  • Exist in all areas of the United States
  • Attack mostly hardwoods

Carpenter Ants:

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ants
  • Found all over the United States, but primarily in damp areas and Northern States
  • Create tunnels in damp and wet wood to create their homes
  • Come in to houses to forage for food or nest with houses to have their young.
  • Hard to see
  • Found mostly in window frames, door frames, crawl spaces, chimneys, sinks, and bathtubs

Carpenter Bees:

Carpenter-Bees
Carpenter-Bees
  • Found in all regions of the United States
  • Burrow into wood to make nests and lay their eggs

Although these bugs are small in stature, they can create major damage to your home. These pests cause over $5 billion dollars in home repairs in the United States yearly. So, what do you do to keep them out of your home? How to Protect Your Home Against WDO ? There are many steps that you can take to keep these miniature predators from invading your home. Here is a comprehensive list of what to do to keep your home bug free:

  • Repair soffits and fascia and rotted roof shingles
  • Direct water away from your home
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home
  • Keep your basements, attic and crawl spaces dry and well ventilated
  • Replace worn weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basements and seal your windows
  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches away from your foundation
  • Explore your attic and garage for termite and ant damage
  • Check ceiling beams to see if they are soft (this is an indicator of moisture and pests)
  • Keep an eye out for small piles of saw dust and wood chips that can indicate an ant infestation
  • Have a termite inspection every three years if you have never had a termite infestation or once a year if you have had a termite issue by a professional home inspector
  • Have a wood destroying organism inspection before you buy your house

If you follow these suggestions you will have a good chance of avoiding bug infestation issues. However, if you know that you already have an insect infestation or you strongly suspect that you do there are steps to take to get those pesky pests out of your home. Do not despair!How to Get Rid of Wood Destroying Organism in Your HomeIf you suspect that you may have an infestation of any of these wood destroying organisms in your home your best first course of action is to contact a licensed pest control professional at the first sight of an indication of an infestation. Don’t let it go too long, these bugs can create very expensive repairs and usually are not covered by home insurance. If you do decide to try to rid your house of these pests on your own, here are the steps you should take:

  1. Remove the effected wood
  2. Replace the effected wood
  3. Treat the new wood with a boron-based solution or product that you purchase in the home improvement store
  4. Select what type of insecticide you will use
  5. Spot treat your home
    1. Where flooring meets baseboard
    2. Around doors
    3. In the corners of rooms
    4. Around window frames
    5. Underneath furniture and appliances
    6. Any cracks or crevices in your home

(Repeat in 7 to 10 days)or if you have only carpenter ants:

  1. Inspection
    1. Determine if they live outside and come in your house to get food or if they are nesting in your home
  2. Determine the control type is best for the location of your infestation:
    1. Bates
    2. Spray
    3. Treat voids
  3. Prevent Future Infestations
    1. Ant proof your yard
    2. Clear all wood from the yard
    3. Cut back tree branches
    4. Seal all cracks in foundations, pipes, wires, windows and doors
    5. Store firewood away from house
    6. Correct all moisture problems, like roof and plumbing leaks

If you follow these steps you should be able to rid your house of any wood destroying organisms and save yourself a lot of time, money and aggravation! If you aren’t sure if you have an insect issue in your home, suspect that you might have one or are buying a new home you should contact a home inspection specialist to do a WDO inspection on your home or future home. If you suspect you have creepy crawlies trying to destroy your home or future home call us today!