If you’ve tried to get approved for a VA Loan in the last few weeks, you may have heard about the new regulation here in Wisconsin. Per this new regulation, people looking to get a VA Loan in many of Wisconsin’s counties are now required to prove that the home has been inspected for wood damage caused by insects.

For most people, the main insect that comes to mind with wood damage is termites. But here in Wisconsin, termites are actually fairly uncommon. These pests prefer warmer, humid climates and can’t typically survive long in Wisconsin with our often brutally cold winters. When these bugs do appear here, it is typically because they are brought in on lumber or furniture items exported from termite-inhabited areas. While this is exciting news for most homeowners, there are a few insects that do reside in Wisconsin that can damage wood found in and around your home that you should be aware of.

In Wisconsin, the most likely culprit of wood damage is actually caused by an ant know as a carpenter ant. As their name suggests, these ants don’t eat wood as termites do – they are simply woodworkers. Carpenter ants are large, even reaching up to an inch in length, and are black or reddish in coloration. While they don’t work quickly, these ants can cause extensive damage if left unchecked. Some signs of these insects can be seeing small piles of sawdust-like material underneath small holes in the wood and seeing the ants themselves in and around your home. It should be noted that these ants prefer damaged, wet or rotting wood, and if there is a carpenter ant problem in our around your home, it may be an indication that a more serious problem, such as water damage or a leak, is also present.

Powderpost beetles are another insect that can be found in Wisconsin and causes damage to wood. This name actually encompasses a variety of beetle species, but they all have a few similarities. These beetles are small, and as such can be hard to notice. This is even more concerning as the damage has already been done once this insect has reached the beetle stage. Larvae of this bug are the ones who actually consume the wood. Living within the wood, they will form various tunnels until they reach maturity. At this point, they will tunnel out of the wood, leaving behind small, pinhead-sized holes, and repeat the process. These holes are often the only indication that these beetles have taken up residence in or around your home.

Carpenter bees can also cause damage to the wood around a home. Like carpenter ants, carpenter bees work the wood, they don’t eat it. Similar to bumblebees in size and appearance, they only lack the fuzzy abdomen that is found on a bumblebee – carpenter bee abdomens are smooth. Only one hole may be visible, but there are often many tunnels branching from this one entry point. These bees work quickly, and can degrade the stability of sheds, fences, decks, and more. The best indication of carpenter bees is actually sighting the bees themselves coming and going from the dime-sized entry hole.

Regardless of whether you have seen wood-damaging insect activity or not, Advanced Wildlife Control can help you get the approval needed to secure your VA Loan. Give us a call today to schedule your Wood-Damaging Insect Home Pest Inspection!