Real estate tips from Brooks Beaupain
Brooks Beaupain, ASP, GRI | Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. |  206-778-4663
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Is Your Home Safe From These Costly Pests?
Links that Make Life Easier
The Lighter Side
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Brooks Beaupain
Did you know that many wood-destroying insects look for new territory during the spring and summer?  Any home is a potential target, and the result can mean thousands of dollars in damage if they're not stopped early enough.

Below are some tips to help you recognize and safeguard your home against the most costly intruders.


By the way, if you or anyone you know has a real estate need, please contact me today. I'll always provide first-class service!

Is Your Home Safe From Costly Pests?


Anyone who has ever dealt with a wood-destroying insect problem can tell you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  First, however, you need to know what you're looking for.  Here are warning signs of infestations, along with ways to make your home less inviting to destructive insects.   



Powderpost Beetles


Powderpost beetles get less press than termites or carpenter ants because they are not as prevalent nationwide, but they cause just as much damage to individual homes.  They are found in all states along the U.S. coastline from Washington to Maine; however, because infestations often start when wood containing beetle larvae is brought into a home, they can occur nearly anywhere.


Lyctid and Anobiid powderpost beetles are the most common varieties.  Adults lay eggs in pores and holes in wood, and the larvae bore into the wood as they feed, emerging one to five years later.   


Signs of Infestation:

  • Small exit holes in wood, especially during the spring and summer.
  • Lyctids (also called "true powderpost beetles") nearly always target hardwood, and are rarely found in wood that is over five years old. Their exit holes are around pinhead size, and the frass is as fine as powder. 
  • Anobiids (also called "deathwatch beetles") target both hardwood and softwood.  Exit holes are slightly larger, and the frass is somewhat gritty.

Wood with beetle damage. 


While Lyctids can wreak havoc on hardwood floors, Anobiid beetles are dangerous because they consume softwood, which is used for core structural elements such as beams and joists. 


Conditions that Attract Them:

  • Moist areas, including crawl spaces with poor ventilation and no vapor barrier covering the bare ground.
  • Bare, unfinished wood in which to lay eggs.  (Keep in mind that larvae already present can emerge from finished wood and lay new eggs in their exit holes.)
  • Old or antique furniture.  Inspect any items like this that you bring into your home very carefully! 

Did You Know?


Experts recommend that rough-cut lumber be kiln-sterilized by heating it to at least 130 degrees.  This process kills all stages of powderpost beetles.


Click here for more information about powderpost beetles. 




 Winted termite

Subterranean termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage to homes in the U.S. each year.  They are especially prevalent in warm areas, but infestations occur in every state except Alaska.  Termites like to eat soft wood that has been damaged by moisture.


Signs of Infestation:

  • Mud shelter tubes leading from the ground up along an exterior wall. 
  • Swarms of the winged reproductive version inside your home during the spring, summer, or fall.
  • Walls that sound hollow when you pound upon them. 
  • Deposits of termite frass (droppings), which looks like sawdust.

Conditions that Attract Them: 

  • Moist areas with detritus, including water-damaged wood, clogged gutters, and damp crawl spaces. 
  • Earth-to-wood contact along the perimeter of your home.  This allows them easy access with less risk of losing the moisture they need.
  • Other species, such as drywood termites, thrive in different conditions.  Here's a helpful description of the four primary termite species we encounter in the U.S. 

Did You Know?


Dogs can be trained to detect termite colonies with 95 percent accuracy, and some pest control companies employ them regularly.   



Carpenter Ants


Winged antFound throughout the U.S., carpenter ants surpass termites as the most destructive structural pest in temperate zones.  Like termites, they usually target wood that has been weakened or damaged by moisture, although once established may invade drier areas.  Unlike termites, they do not eat the wood; instead, they excavate it in order to build tunnels and nests.


Signs of Infestation:

  • The ants themselves, which range from red to black and are 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch long.
  • Swarms of the winged version inside your home during the spring and summer months.
  • Deposits of carpenter ant frass, which looks like sawdust.

Conditions that Attract Them:  

  • Areas containing moist wood or debris, including leaves in gutters. 
  • Cracks and wire holes that they can use to get inside.
  • Old tree stumps and piles of firewood.  This is why you should never stack firewood next to your home. 
  • Vegetation touching your home and even the utility wires connecting to it, which they use as pathways.     

Did You Know?   


The most effective pesticides are ones that act slowly, giving the ants time to return to their colony and infect the queen.    


Click here for information about how to control carpenter ants and termites



"Is that an ant or a termite?"


If you've ever seen a swarmer fluttering through the air or crawling across an exterior wall of your home on a summer day, you may have wondered, "Is that an ant or a termite?"  Here's how to tell:


Carpenter ants can be distinguished by their narrow waist, bent antennae, and two wings on each side that are not equal in length.


Unlike carpenter ants, termites are weak flyers and shed their wings shortly after landing.  This means that if you find piles of wings along window sills or near lights in your home, termites are probably to blame.




Concerned about a potential pest problem? 


Don't panic!  Read these tips on how to choose a pest control company, and keep in mind that you probably have plenty of time to investigate your options.




I'm happy to provide you with any recommendations and resources you may need to keep your home safe and pest-free.  (Sorry, this does not include fending off pesky relatives! :)  Please give me a call or send me an email anytime.
(What the lawyers make us say: The information in this newsletter is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Please always consult a qualified expert before making decisions based on this content. Nothing in this article is meant to be taken as expert legal, financial, or medical advice.) 

Links that Make Life Easier 

Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

The largest online retailer of do-it-yourself pest control products, with many helpful articles on the website as well.
The Living With Bugs website gives a good explanation of how to recognize bedbugs and both prevent and deal with an infestation.
If you have a garden pest dilemma, chances are you'll find an organic solution on the Extremely Green website.

An online charity that lets you contribute to classrooms in need in U.S. schools.

Book a hotel room on, and if the price drops before your stay you'll automatically get a refund for the difference.

The Lighter Side

Link to the video.  

If you're in the mood for a good laugh, check out this video narrated by Henri the cat.  It's a spoof of French existentialism that just gets funnier and funnier as it goes along.   


You can click the image to watch the video on the Flixxy website, or click here to go there.



Brooks Beaupain signature 

Brooks Beaupain, REALTOR«, ASP, GRI
Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. | 206-778-4663

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