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Deck Damage: Insects that Eat or Damage Wood

Wood Destroying Insects | November 20, 2017

Insects that Eat or Damage Wood

There are many types of insects that eat or damage wood. They include bees, beetles, termites, ants, and even wasps. Even so, it is sometimes hard to determine exactly which type of insect is consuming the wooden parts of your home or outbuildings.

What to Do if There is Insect Damage to Your Deck or Home

One of the first things you should do is have the damage inspected by our professionals. It helps you to make a more informed decision about how to handle treatment when you know what type of pest is causing the damage. After all, how you deal with termites is very different from how you deal with carpenter bees.

Carpenter Ants

Most often, the damage caused by carpenter ants is attributed to termites. These insects can both do considerable damage to your home or building, but it takes some time. Carpenter ants excavate large chambers in wood where they build a colony. They are not Xylophagous – They do not eat wood.


Termites well known insects that damage homes, businesses, and outbuildings. Between carpenter ants and termites, termites do considerable more damage, though neither pest should be allowed to remain around your home. It can be difficult to determine whether the damage is from ants or termites. Even visually, these two insects are similar. Both swarm and both have wings for a short period of time.

Carpenter Bees

The damage from carpenter bees is usually very easy to see as it occurs on the outside of a home or structure. These thumb-size bees that drill into wood to make a chamber where they lay their eggs. These are pollinators and they spend the summer gathering pollen which the turn into a type of dough that their young feed on when they hatch. These are semi-social bees and the males are not allowed in the galleries. Carpenter bees love untreated wood and you often see their holes in 4×4 posts, along the eaves of a house, and in the supports for decks. The holes are usually about the size of a permanent marker pen and perfectly round.

Wood Boring Beetles

Wood boring beetles come in all sizes and can be as large as your thumb and as small as a flea. They make eccentric, abstract lines in new wood. These are not usually a local pest, but instead imported with the lumber. Wood boring beetles prefer living trees and burrow in to lay their eggs. That is how the beetles get to your house or business.

As mentioned, the first place to start with wood damage is to determine the exact pest that is causing the damage. The treatments are not the same and in the case of wood boring beetles, there is no treatment for wood installed. However, knowing that this is a problem you can shop carefully for wood that is seasoned by at least a year. Reach out to our professionals for licensed and insured pest control throughout the Austin Area.

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

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