Wood Destroying Insects
The termite most commonly found in Connecticut is the Eastern Subterranean Termite, so named because it lives in nests in the ground, from which the worker termites travel to and from the house (or other available wood) to feed.
Minor termite infestations of homes in Connecticut are not unusual. Although a large termite colony can cause serious structural damage to a house over time, a typical termite infestation should not be a cause for alarm. Timely treatment is important, however, to prevent further damage. A licensed pest control operator can provide safe, effective treatment to control these insects.
The easiest way to tell the difference between termites and ants is that ants have a slender “hourglass” waist, and termites do not. The Eastern Subterranean Termite common in Connecticut is also quite small – the workers are about 3/8 of an inch (10 mm) long.
Most ants found in houses do not cause damage to wood. The ant of greatest concern for homeowners in Connecticut is the Carpenter Ant. Carpenter Ants make nests in wood, but unlike termites, do not actually eat wood. Because they remove the wood from the nests as they build, one sign of Carpenter Ants is small piles of sawdust (often with insect parts in it). These insects are most likely to move into wood which is moist from a water leak or soil contact, so keeping wood structures dry and free from wood rot is important.
A variety of wood-boring beetles, including the Powderpost Beetle, are found in homes, most often in basements or garages where some moisture or high humidity is present. Wood-boring beetle damage to wood is generally a slow process over many years, but can eventually cause significant structural damage. If beetle activity is found, it can be effectively treated.
The Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) Inspection
The best way to know if wood destroying insects are present is to have a knowledgeable professional inspect for them. ECHIS recommends that this be done as a part of all pre-purchase home inspections. We provide a thorough WDI inspection by a licensed pest control operator, which is approved for use with FHA and VA loans, and is reported on the required NPMA-33 form.
More Information on Wood Destroying Insects: North Carolina State University, Dept. of Entomology