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open houseIf you’re buying or selling a house, you may run into something called the WDIR, or Wood Destroying Insect Report. At Buzz, we deal with lots of wood, as well as other materials. So this week we’re going to explain about this report which details what little suckers might be feeding on your house or, God forbid, your fence.

What is a WDIR?

A WDIR is a report written by a pest control company detailing whether or not they see visible damage of wood destroying insects in your home. This is the pest control company’s best guess regarding the presence of these destructive critters, but not a guarantee. “Visible” means the inspector is not going to lift up carpet, pull back trim or question sellers about all that recent spackling. A WDIR covers the house and permanent attached structures, such as porches and decks. However, non-attached structures – such as sheds and fences – are not covered, unless specifically written into Section 5 of the “Texas Official Wood Destroying Insect Report.”
Some lenders require a WDIR before making customers a loan.

Meet the creepy crawlies

So who are these destroyers of houses, sheds and fences? They fall into four categories: carpenter ants, bark beetles and woodborers, termites and powderpost beetles. Nationwide, these hungry little guys cause more damage than hurricanes, windstorms and tornadoes combined. Unobservant homeowners might not notice the bugs’ long lunch until their houses lean visibly.
In Texas, termites are the likeliest culprits, with the eastern subterranean being the most common. Along the Gulf Coast, Formosan termites are often the troublemakers. Drywood termites, wood-infesting beetles and carpenter ants are also proud citizens of the Lone Star State.

Ready for a new fence

How do they find these little bugs?

Pest inspectors creep around your house, stealthily looking for either the bugs themselves or evidence of their presence. Dead or living insects are absolute proof, but each bug leaves a calling card. Termites form mud tubes and tunnels, and leave rotten wood behind. Wood burrowing beetles and wood roaches make little holes in wood, while carpenter bees and ants leave shavings.

What about my fence?

sideyard cedar fence
Yes, we feel the same way. That’s too bad about the house, but what about the most important part of your property, that beautiful fence? As we mentioned above, the official report doesn’t cover your fence unless it’s a write-in added to section 5. So if you’re buying a house, go ahead and add any outbuildings, fences, sheds, doghouses, or any other wood structures on your possible future property. It’s better to pay the inspector a little more to have the best possible picture of what you’re buying.
What if termites ruin your fence? Don’t worry. Your friends at Buzz can build you a new one. Have you considered wrought iron?