Staying on the lookout for circumstances that can damage your house is probably a priority for you as a homeowner. Since your home is probably your greatest investment, you have most likely gone to great lengths to protect it. However, the smallest of creatures can inflict the most damage on your home, and wood-eating insects are among the most dangerous. From termites to other flying insects, there are several pests you should be aware of that eat or damage wood and can do long-term damage to your home.
1. Powderpost Beetles
Powderpost beetles are one of the few species of beetle that can damage all different types of wood. What makes this pest so dangerous to the wood structures in your home is that they continue to eat into treated wood over a number of generations and cause long-term damage. These beetles bore into many types of hardwood, including oak, ash, and maple.
Because powderpost beetles can weaken and damage support beams in your home, it is important that you learn to identify them quickly. The insects themselves are oblong, with a brown carapace and a dark head. Adults grow to about a quarter of an inch in length, and evidence of their presence can usually be seen in clustered, bored holes in your home’s wood.
2. Carpenter Bees
Unlike other dangerous bees or wasps, male carpenter bees are harmless because they have no stinger and female do not attack unless they are bothered, which makes them less of an immediate threat to people. However, since they bore into wood to make their nests, they can cause quite a bit of damage to your home’s trees or support beams. These bees prefer boring into bamboo, which may make any outdoor furniture or bamboo décor vulnerable.
Identifying carpenter bees is not difficult due to their large size and shiny exterior. Some species lack the yellow stripes of a bumblebee and their abdomens are free of hair. You may often see them humming around a single nest, which can be identified as a large, round hole in existing wood.
3. Bark Beetles
If you have a great deal of wood in your home or own a log cabin, then you might want to be on the lookout for bark beetles. These insects usually target small, dying, or weak trees, but they have also been known to attack treated wood as well. Bark beetles are typically the most active in warm weather, so summer is the best time to observe any damaging behavior.
Bark beetles range in color from dark brown to black and have a hard, shiny carapace. These beetles are small, about the size of a grain of rice, but because they can invade wood in large numbers, the damage they cause can be substantial.
Termites are usually the most well-known when it comes to wood-eating insects because of the havoc they can wreak on a home. Termites can destroy support beams and while they cannot harm concrete or brick foundations, wood supports that are buried in the earth may be vulnerable. Evidence of termites includes finding wood dust and evidence of boring, tunnels scooped out in wood, and termite pellets, which you may find in large piles below the damaged wood.
Professional pest and termite services can help you determine whether your home is being damaged by termites and offer you several different treatment solutions as well. They may also be able to tell about the extent of the damage and how to prevent future infestations.
Wood-eating insects or those that damage wood structures to build their homes can cause significant damage to your house and wood décor. However, learning about their habits, appearance, and life cycles may help you defend your property against them.