Wood-Destroying Insects

What are wood-destroying insects?

Wood-destroying insects are just as described; they are insects that invade and damage wood. Two of the more common wood-destroying insects in Virginia are the subterranean termite and the carpenter ant. Two completely different species, but both can create costly damage inside homes and businesses.

The subterranean termite is a ground-nesting species and one of the most common species found damaging properties across much of the United States. They have high moisture needs and are attracted to water-damaged or decaying wood from which to gather food. They are one of only a few organisms able to convert cellulose into a usable food source.

termite  on dirt

Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of ants living in the United States that invade our homes and businesses. These ants are black, red, or a combination of those colors. Carpenter ants do not feed on structural wood; they only create nesting sites in it. Like other ants, carpenter ants feed on various things, including dead insects, honeydew (a sweet liquid produced by garden aphids), and in our homes, any crumbs or sweet liquids they come across.

Are wood-destroying insects dangerous?

Whether they live in our yards or inside our homes, wood-destroying insects are a threat. If they are nesting in your yard, it means that there is an excellent chance they will one day find a way into your house and cause costly structural damage.

Termites are known as “silent invaders” because, unlike ants, you won’t find these insects wandering around your kitchen or garden. They stay out of view by traveling through the soil or mud tubes and feed on the interior of wooden structures, making identifying their presence difficult. Carpenter ants living in our homes may cause health concerns by contaminating food and surfaces with the bacteria they carry on their legs and bodies.

Why do I have a wood-destroying insect problem?

Wood-destroying insects are on your property because they have found your yard is a good place to build a nest or because they have discovered food sources somewhere on your property. The following things may attract wood-destroying insects to a property:

  • Fallen trees, logs, tree stumps, woodpiles
  • Older or decaying wood fences, play structures, or furniture
  • Damp mulch
  • Open trash cans, compost piles, gardens
  • Pet food

Where will I find wood-destroying insects?

Carpenter ants nest in water-damaged or decaying wood like dead trees and stumps, rotting fence posts, and old piles of wood. Carpenter ants nesting outside near homes and other structures eventually find their way inside while foraging for more food sources. Common entry points include damaged wood trim, gaps under doors, and spaces in the foundation or exterior walls. Once inside, they are attracted to water-damaged wood behind walls and under floors and may decide to stay and create a satellite nest to expand their colony.

Subterranean termites live in moist soil close to their food sources. They travel from their nest to food source each day because they do not live inside the wood they feed on. Inside homes and other buildings, termites feed on structural wood located behind walls, under floors, or above ceilings. They typically find a way inside through cracks in the foundation or pieces of wood, making direct contact with damp soil.

How do I get rid of wood-destroying insects?

Wood-destroying insects are a costly and stressful pest problem to contend with. Partnering with a professional to eliminate and prevent these pests provides peace of mind. National Exterminating Company will eliminate subterranean termites and carpenter ants from your home or business through our top-of-the-line services, exceptional customer service, and attention to detail.

For more information about our residential or commercial pest control services or to schedule your free inspection and consultation, call the friendly professionals at National Exterminating Company today!

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

Don’t allow wood-destroying insects to take over your yard. By using our professional services and the following tips, you can prevent problems with these destructive pests:

  • Make sure gutters are clear of debris and not allowing water to overflow into your home’s roof.
  • Place weatherstripping around windows to stop water from leaking into your home.
  • Repair dripping pipes.
  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture in your home.
  • If wooden structures in your home become damaged by water, quickly remove and replace it.
  • Repair openings (cracks, gaps, holes) that develop in your home’s foundation and exterior walls.
  • Remove leaf piles, tree stumps, fallen trees, and other debris from your yard.
  • Keep leftover (yours and your pet’s) food cleaned up.
  • Make sure trash cans and compost bins have locking lids on them.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.

 

Request Your Free Estimate Today

Complete the form below to request your no obligation estimate.

 

Recent Blog Articles

View our blogs and resources below: