Wood-Damaging Insects

What are wood-damaging insects?

As their name suggests, wood-damaging insects are insects that damage wood by tunneling through it to live, nest, or feed. And these destructive insects tend to be quite sneaky pests. Because of this, they can create enough damage to cause significant and costly repairs.

a beetle crawling on damaged wood in lutherville

Examples of wood-damaging insects with the potential to invade Maryland and Washington, D.C. properties are carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and wood-boring beetles.

Carpenter ants
Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of household-invading ants. They are mostly black in color, but some species can be a combination of black, red, and yellow in color. Carpenter ants like to nest in water-damaged or decaying pieces of wood.

Carpenter bees
Carpenter bees are large in size and look similar to bumble bees. Both bumble bees and carpenter bees have yellow and black markings, but carpenter bees are mostly black in color. Another difference between the two is that bumble bees are fuzzy all over while carpenter bees have smooth abdomen.

Wood-boring beetles
After termites, wood-boring beetles are the most significant wood-destroying insects. Female wood-boring beetles lay their eggs on wood that has not been seasoned or processed. However, some species do choose seasoned wood. When the larvae hatch from their eggs they burrow into the piece of wood, tunneling through it and feeding on it.

Are wood-damaging insects dangerous?

Wood-damaging insects are not dangerous to people. Carpenter bees are a species of stinging insect, and while females are equipped with stingers, they are quite docile. The males are aggressive, but lack stingers. Carpenter ants and wood-boring insects do not bite, sting, and are not known to cause health problems in people. However, wood-damaging insects are dangerous and damaging to property. Wood-destroying insects tunnel through, feed on, and nest inside wooden timbers, wooden furniture, and other wooden structures. Their presence eventually damages and weakens the structural integrity of the building or structure they have invaded. The damage that wood-damaging insects can cause can be quite costly to repair.

Why do I have a wood-damaging insect problem?

Wood-damaging insects like carpenter ants and bees often enter homes accidentally. While they're out foraging for sources of food, they gain access through small cracks and crevices found in homes' foundations or through spaces found around exterior walls, windows, and doors. Wood-destroying beetles often enter homes inside timbers, wooden furniture, barn wood, or in other wooden items that are already infested with their eggs or larvae.

Where will I find wood-damaging insects?

Where you will find wood-damaging insects is going to depend on its exact species:

  • Carpenter bee females create individual nests in wooden decks, fence rails, wooden trim, wooden play structures, wooden furniture, overhangs, and window sills.

  • Carpenter ants nest outside in fallen trees, trees stumps, under mulch, or in wood piles. When nesting inside homes or other buildings, carpenter ants prefer to nest inside structural wood that has been previously damaged by water or that is decaying. 

  • Wood-boring beetles can be found attacking and invading a variety of materials inside, including sub-flooring, hardwood floors, door and window trim, joists, window sills, and structural beams. They can also be found in barn wood, hardwood furniture, and can become a big issue inside log houses. 

How do I get rid of wood-damaging insects?

To eliminate destructive wood-damaging insects from your home or property, and prevent a re-infestation, partner with a knowledgeable professional. At Pest Czar, our local and experienced professionals can provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to get rid of the wood-damaging insects living in your home or on your property. We can then prevent their return by implementing one of our GreenPro certified pest protection plans. For exceptional, eco-friendly wood-damaging insect control in the Baltimore, Maryland, or Washington, D.C. areas, give us a call at Pest Czar!

How can I prevent wood-damaging insects in the future?

Preventing problems with wood-damaging insects can be difficult. Here are several things you can do in and around your home to deter them:

  • Put into place a professional wood-damaging insect control program from Pest Czar.

  • Seal cracks and crevices found in your home’s foundation, exterior walls, and spaces found around utilities entering your home from outdoors.

  • Repair leaky pipes, fixtures, and faucets found inside and outside your home.

  • Remove structural wood from your property that has been damaged by water.

  • Make sure that wood you are purchasing has been properly stored and dried.

  • Paint or stain exposed bare wood in your home to help prevent wood-boring beetles.

  • Paint, stain, or otherwise treat wooden structures on your property.

  • Limit the use of old barn wood inside your home.

  • Inspect antiques made of wood before bringing them into your home.

 

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