Termites and Wood Destroying Insects
There are five wood destroying insect species in our local area that homeowners should be aware of for a number of reasons:
- All five can be highly destructive.
- They and the damage they cause can be hidden and only knowing what to look for will give you a clue they are in your home.
- You should know that conditions exist, such as high moisture conditions, which you can control, that make your home more inviting to them.
- If you sell your home, you will need a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection, which will state your home is free from any visible infestations or damage from these five insects.
The number one defense against these insects is to get an inspection from a licensed pest control company. Hampton Roads Termite and Pest Control Company Inc. offers free inspections. These inspections not only are helpful in finding specific problems but are also helpful in educating you in what to look for in your home and identifying conditions which may be conducive to each insect. Following are a few clues which may be helpful.
- Two of the most common things a homeowner might encounter with termites are seeing shelter tubes or swarming reproductive termites.
- Carpenter ants will look for moisture damaged wood to nest in. They, unlike termites don’t eat the wood but excavate the wood for nesting purposes. The big clue here will be the frass (sawdust) coming out around doors, windows, porch railings, just to name a few areas.
- Probably every homeowner has seen carpenter bees. You may have thought they were bumble bees but these little guys are looking to burrow into your wood and deposit their young. They’re most interested in bare or weathered wood. Once the young are deposited wood peckers like to open their galleries looking for the young, again frass will probably be present.
- Unless you’re fond of crawling around in your crawl space or basement the average homeowner isn’t going to find very many clues being left by an old house wood borer. Frass is present and depending on conditions of the crawl or basement the damage can be significant.
- Lastly, powder post beetles are much smaller than the old house wood borer and leave much smaller exit holes with frass. They are usually confined in crawl spaces or basements (not always) and can do extensive damage.