Wood-destroying insects in the home are damaging to your investment. Most homeowners are familiar with termites. However, there are several types of insects that can cause damage. Let’s look at five of the most common wood-destroying insects and how to spot them in your home.
Watch for These Wood-Destroying Insects
1. Wood-Destroying Insects: Termites
Termites look like white ants and feed on wood in and around your home. Keep an eye out for discarded wings, tiny piles of termite droppings, and swarmers (flying termites), as they are signs you may have a termite infestation. Spotting these insects early allows you to hire a professional to minimize the damage to your home.
2. Wood Borers
Wood borers are common wood-destroying insects that have four distinct developmental stages. The adult beetle lays eggs in wooden cracks in the flooring, timbers, and wooden furniture. Once the larvae hatch, they feed on the wood to survive. You will notice wood borers because of the exit holes when eating their way out of the wood. A clear sign of wood borers is crumbling woodwork or weakened hardwood flooring around the home.
3. Wood-Destroying Insects: Carpenter Bees
These insects look similar to bumblebees and lay their eggs inside the wooden components of your home. Carpenter bees tunnel their way through the wood, causing structural damage. You can identify carpenter bees by the holes they make on the exterior of your home. These holes are approximately one-half inch in diameter and are usually accompanied by small piles of sawdust.
4. Carpenter Ants
Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. However, these insects dig tunnels through the wood and cause structural damage to your home in the process. You can spot signs of these ants as they leave small piles of sawdust near their exit holes. Look for sawdust in the basement, near baseboards and trim, and along walls.
5. Wood-Destroying Insects: Bark Beetles
While bark beetles may not affect your home, they can destroy the trees around your property. Bark beetles start on the surface and eat into the inner bark of a tree. To discover these insects, inspect the trees for reddish-brown or white tubes. These pitch tubes are how a tree attempts to defend itself from a beetle infestation. Needles or leaves may also indicate bark beetles by turning reddish-brown. Bark beetles could kill trees, causing damage to your home or car if the tree were to collapse on it.
If You See Signs of Wood-Destroying Insects
If you think you have wood-destroying insects in and around your home, hire a professional pest control service as soon as you can. Calling a professional early will rid your home of these insects before doing too much damage.