Wood Destroying Insects (WDI) and What You Should Know

Wood destroying insects (WDI) are dangerous and damaging to properties. Their existence in a home is one of the greatest threats as they can eventually weaken and damage the structure they invaded in a short period of time, which can be costly to repair. As their name suggests, they destroy wood by boring through to live, feed, or reproduce

When buying a house, one of the things to watch out for is; if the building has what is called “conducive conditions” for wood-destroying insects, and if it has been formerly infested by wood-destroying insects. If the conditions those wood-destroying insects tend to like have not been corrected, an infestation is likely to happen.

Some of these insects actually eat wood but others destroy it by creating channels through the wood to create nests. Most times, damages are not visible to the naked eye; the presence of sawdust or small holes on wood surfaces indicates wood damage. These insects include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, and wood borers.

Most insects like termites, create tunnels in the wood by chewing it. To the naked eye, it looks perfectly fine on the surface but crumbles if probed with any tool.
Are you buying a house or being faced with wood-destroying insect challenges? This article is written just for you, read on to know; the signs of infestation, conducive conditions for termites, and their preventive measures.

Visual infestation signs of (WDI) Wood Destroying Insects

WDI such as termites can cause hazardous damage, therefore an incomplete or inaccurate infestation inspection may cost you a lot of money for repair in the future. These signs are visual, which means you will only have to look at accessible and unobstructed inside and outside areas of the building.

These signs include:

  • Termite swarmer discarded wings near windows, doors, and surrounding paint peeling or bubbling on wooden surfaces
  • Tiny boring or exit holes in wood
  • Presence of mud or shelter tubes on wood and surrounding wall surfaces
  • Damaged wood structure
  • Hollow, corrosive, and darkening wood
  • Conducive conditions for termites or wood-destroying insect infestation

Knowing that your house is safe from insect infestation can give you peace of mind. Therefore, it is a good idea to know the conditions that facilitate wood destroying infestations, conditions such as:

  • Areas with no gutter will create excessive moisture which invites termites
  • Leaks under the kitchen, and bathroom sink, toilet pipes, and around the house.
  • Stacked old rotted woods in contact with home construction
  • Wood rots on the ground, lying around the house
  • Presence of debris under or around the house
  • Insufficient ventilation
  • Plants and shrubs too close to home construction
  • Cracks around the house walls
  • Cluttered or unrepaired gutters not rightly positioned away from the house
  • Soil lines and mulch in contact with wood structure in the house

Ways to prevent wood-destroying insects

Removing conditions conducive to termites, such as food, moisture, shelter, and optimal temperature in and around your home will help in the protest to protect your house against these wood-boring insects. Written in here are several things you can do in and around your house to prevent them:

  • Make sure that the wood purchased has been properly stored, dried, and chemically treated.
  • Removing woods that have been damaged by water from your property.
  • Painting bare or threatened woods with protective furniture paints to prevent wood-damaging boring insects.
    Inside the home, the use of old woods should be reduced
  • Crevices and cracks around the home’s wall, spaces, and furniture should be sealed
  • Professional wood-damaging insect control programs should be put in place
  • Before using any furniture or antiques made of wood, inspect t them before bringing them into the house.

Some of the conditions that will bring wood-destroying insects like termites might surprise you. Therefore before getting a house, it’s an excellent idea to know if there is a current or previous infestation. You can be sure the house you’re going to buy isn’t infested by getting a termite inspection.


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Jake Edenfield

Owner and Certified Inspector

Home Inspections that Make You Feel Confident About Your Investment