Wood damaging pests, by their very definition, are a nuisance that you will want to get rid of. But, before you can eliminate a wood damaging pest, you need to know what you are dealing with. For example, termites are well known for eating their way through the wood. An average-sized colony can eat six inches of 2×4 wood in just five months.
That can be a significant issue for the structural stability of your home.
In contrast, the carpenter ant can consume nearly as much wood. But, they don’t eat it, they simply chew it to create tunnels where they then live. The damage is the same but the treatment may be different.
There are three main types of wood damaging pests that you need to be able to identify and deal with.
- Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees can appear almost anywhere in the country and can cause a significant amount of damage. They look similar to the regular bee. However, they are all black. That makes them the easiest of these three to identify.
It is worth noting that the carpenter bee doesn’t eat wood, it simply creates tunnels in the wood where it lives and nests. The tunnels, and particularly the entry points, are perfectly round. The Carpenter bee’s offspring creates its own tunnels, allowing generations to live in close proximity to each other. That magnifies the damage over the long term.
The male carpenter bee won’t sting you. However, if it feels threatened it will dive bomb you!
Termites are well known for their ability to eat wood and these are the most destructive of the wood damaging insects. Termites generally live below ground, traveling through the soil to stay moist and feeding on your wood. That does mean they can be hard to spot until plenty of damage has already been caused.
The first sign you have termites is often the presence of discarded wings, suggesting more colonies are being created. You will want professional help to eliminate the termites and stop them from coming back.
- Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants look very similar to standard ants but, instead of nesting in soil, they create their nests in wood. In many cases, they look for dead trees but they have been known to eat the wood in your home.
The first sign that these pests have invaded is normally a rustling sound in the walls. If you look closely you will also see the small piles of sawdust by each hole, confirming their presence.
If you don’t realize they are there until you start seeing them then they have been there for several years and are likely to have caused a lot of damage. You will need professional help as quickly as possible. Although it may be tempting to deal with the issue yourself, it is generally more efficient and effective to let the professionals handle the job.