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The Importance of Wood Destroying Insect Inspection

by Uneeb Khan
Wood Destroying Insect

Wood destroying insects can cause serious damage to homes and other wooden structures if left unchecked. A thorough inspection by a qualified professional is the best way to detect and prevent infestations before they get out of control. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of conducting regular inspections, what to expect during the inspection process, and how to choose a competent inspector.

Why Regular Inspections are Crucial

There are a few key reasons why wood destroying insect inspections should be done on a regular basis:

Prevent Costly Damage

Catching an infestation early is critical to prevent extensive structural damage. Small areas of infestation are much easier and less expensive to treat. Ignoring early signs of insects can lead to widespread destruction, possibly compromising the structural integrity of the home. The repairs needed after severe damage can be extremely costly.

Maintain Property Value

Undetected insect damage will lower your home’s value. Wood destroying insects can quickly cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Prospective buyers are likely to have an inspector check for insects before purchasing a home. Finding serious insect issues at that point may cause buyers to walk away or demand a lower price.

Avoid Further Spread

Insects reproduce and spread quickly. One unnoticed nest can lead to populations throughout the home in a short period. Routine inspections allow for targeted treatments of confined areas before the infestation gets out of control. Trying to eliminate insects after they have spread is much more difficult and expensive.

Peace of Mind

Knowing your home is free of damaging insects provides security. Inspections identify existing or potential problem areas so you can take preventative action. You can rest assured your home’s structure remains sound.

What to Expect During an Inspection

A comprehensive wood destroying insect inspection involves examining both the interior and exterior of the structure. Here are some key elements included:

Thorough Visual Examination

The inspector will look for visible signs of infestation like frass (insect waste), mud tubes on foundations, exit holes, and areas of sagging wood. Attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and accessible wooden structural components will be checked closely. The inspector will also note conditions conducive to insects like excess moisture, wood-soil contact, and prime entry points.

Moisture Meter Readings

A moisture meter is used to detect excess moisture in wood members. High moisture makes wood more vulnerable to insects. The inspector will identify any areas concerning moisture levels.


Probing with a sharp tool allows the inspector to examine wood in areas that cannot be seen. This helps determine if there are hidden nests or galleries under the surface. Probing is done in areas with suspected activity and along structural wood members.

Attic Inspection

Attics are checked thoroughly since they offer favorable conditions for many wood destroying insects. The inspector looks for signs of activity and examines the roof structure, insulation, and other attic components.


Samples of frass and insect specimens may be taken to identify exactly what species are present. This guides the treatment approach.

Review Documents

The inspector reviews documents showing prior treatments and repairs for wood destroying insects. This provides insight into past issues at the property.

Choosing a Qualified Inspector

Not all inspectors offer the same level of expertise when it comes to detecting wood destroying insects. Here are some tips for choosing wisely:

Check Credentials

Look for an inspector with specific training and certification in wood destroying organism inspection. They should hold a current pest control operator’s license for your state. Associations like the National Pest Management Association have search tools to find qualified inspectors.

Seek References

Ask the inspector for references from past clients. Reputable inspectors should have a long list of satisfied customers. Speaking with references can help determine the inspector’s level of thoroughness and professionalism.

Review Sample Reports

Ask to see a sample inspection report so you know what to expect. A quality report will be detailed, clearly organized, and contain photographic evidence of issues discovered.

Consider Experience

Choose an inspector with substantial experience inspecting homes in your area. Knowledge of regional termites, carpenter ants, wood boring beetles, and other local pests is important. An inspector who has checked hundreds of homes similar to yours is ideal.

Check for Affiliations

Inspectors who belong to professional organizations demonstrate a commitment to continuing education and staying current on inspection practices. Relevant groups include the Entomological Society of America and the National Pest Management Association.

Avoid Conflicts of Interest

Some inspectors also provide extermination services. This potential conflict of interest could impact the thoroughness of the inspection. It’s best to use an inspector who only performs inspections, not treatments.

Taking the time to carefully select an inspector will give you confidence in the accuracy of your wood destroying insect inspection report. A comprehensive inspection by a knowledgeable professional is the best way to protect your home or building from destructive organisms. 

Identifying issues early allows for targeted treatments and prevention of major damage. Don’t ignore this important aspect of property maintenance. Schedule regular wood destroying insect inspections to catch problems before they spiral out of control. Protect your investment with a proactive approach to keeping wood destroying pests in check.

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