Wood-destroying insects may be small, but their threat to your home’s structural integrity is significant. Here are a few different types of wood-destroying insects and tips to help you identify them so you can fortify your home against their destructive behaviors.

Wood-Destroying Insects in the Home

1. Termites

Termites are perhaps the most notorious wood-destroying insects. These pale, ant-like creatures feast on cellulose found in wood, paper, and other plant materials. Look for mud tubes on walls, wood that sounds hollow when tapped, or discarded wings near windowsills as signs of a termite infestation.

2. Wood-Destroying Insects: Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants don’t eat wood but excavate it to create nests. These ants prefer moist, decaying wood, often infiltrating structures around leaks or damp areas. You might notice piles of wood shavings near potential nesting sites.

3. Powderpost Beetles in the Home

Powderpost beetles lay eggs in wood, and their larvae tunnel through it, leaving behind small powdery frass. The tiny holes are telltale signs of an infestation. Since these insects target both hardwood and softwood, regular inspections are crucial.

4. Old House Borers

Old house borers are large beetles with long antennae that lay their eggs in seasoned wood. Their larvae cause significant structural damage. Look for circular exit holes and piles of frass resembling wood pellets.

5. Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees don’t usually cause major destruction, but their drilling can weaken wood structures. These bees create perfectly round holes, often seen on wooden siding or fascia boards. Because carpenter bees only nest in unfinished wood, applying paint or sealant can deter them.

Preventing Wood-Destroying Insects in the Home

To make your property less appealing to these damaging insects, maintain proper grading and drainage, fix leaks promptly, and keep your home well-ventilated. Inspect wooden structures and supports for signs of infestation and address them immediately.

Trim bushes, trees, and plants that touch your home’s exterior. These create bridges that insects can use to access your home. Keep firewood and debris away from the sides of the house to keep insects that have nested there away from your home.

Hire a Pest Professional

If you suspect an infestation, seek professional assistance. Pest control experts can accurately identify the insects and develop effective strategies to eliminate them. Early intervention is critical to preventing costly and extensive damage.

With knowledge of wood-destroying insects, you’re better equipped to identify potential threats and take preventive measures. If you notice signs of these insects, contact a professional for an inspection. You’ll protect your property and prevent severe damage to your home.

AAA Professional Home Inspectors provides inspections to homebuyers and sellers in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Contact us to schedule our services.