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Wood Damaging Insects in the Greater Austin Area

Termite Control | October 29, 2019

Beetles are one of a few insects that destroy wood

Everyone knows that termites damage homes. However, did you know that a fully mature colony of termites can cause massive amounts of damage to a home in as little as three years? Most of the damage caused by termites occurs within the supporting timbers of a structure. However, not all wood damage is from termites. Other insects also damage homes. Many of us are familiar with carpenter bees. Left unchecked carpenter bees can destroy fences, decks, and cause damage to siding and roof support structures. Carpenter bees will drill into foundation timbers too. Other insects that damage wood include carpenter ants and a variety of beetles.

Damage to Homes is Dangerous

The most significant danger to homes is the loss of structural integrity. All that chewing causes the beams and timbers that support the building to weaken. The longer the damage continues, the weaker the structure becomes. It is bad enough to have a termite infestation, but around the greater Austin area, you could potentially have many types of insects eating your home. Summer is prime time for carpenter bees, and while they are excellent pollinators, they cause a lot of damage each year. Carpenter Ants are another problem. We don’t see these as often, but they are still present in the local ecology.

Wood Destroying Beetles

Wood destroying beetles we see more and more. Bark beetles kill living trees, and wood-boring beetles make nests inside of trees. Those trees then become timbers for your new home and oops, there is damage. None of these insects are as damaging as are termites, but the damage they do is still costly. Wood-boring beetles, for example, hatch and leave your home. The damage they do is when the parent beetle created a nest for its eggs.

Carpenter ants are another story. They can be nearly as damaging as termites if their colony is left unchecked. They chew wood to create pockets inside called galleries. They live in the wood rather than eat it. The larger the colony becomes the more space they need to live. That translates into more hollow spaces in the timbers that support your home’s walls, floors, and roof.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Home from Wood Damaging Insects?

One of the most proactive things to do to protect your home from damaging wood insects is to have an annual inspection. It takes a while for termites to damage a home significantly. We are talking about three or so years. That is because the colony is small when it disperses. Termites also disperse in the spring to form new colonies, so being vigilant in the spring and summer is critical. Summer is also the time when carpenter bees are most active, so a summer home inspection can often kill two birds with one stone.

In terms of wood-boring beetles and bark beetles, carefully inspect new lumber. Look for small holes in boards or tunneling exposed by the milling of the wood. Kiln-dried wood is better than air-dried lumber as the heat can kill insect eggs inside of the wood.

In Conclusion

Replacing decking, fencing, and having to hire a contractor to repair wood damage is expensive. Prevention is the key, and you can start that process by reaching out to our team. We provide comprehensive pest control and home/commercial pest inspections throughout the Greater Austin Area.

Do you need pest control? Don't wait. Call Robert's Pest Control now at (512) 444-0132.

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