Wood-Destroying Insects

What are wood-destroying insects?

Those insects that tunnel through and/or feed on trees and pieces of wood like building timbers are referred to as wood-destroying insects. Besides termites, two of the more common species of wood-destroying insects living throughout Texas, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma are the carpenter ant and carpenter bee.

carpenter ant on wood

Carpenter Ants

These ants are one of the largest household-invading ants living in the United States. Workers grow to about ½ inch in length, and queens grow between 1 and 1½ inches. Most carpenter ants are solid black or black and red. These ants have large, strong mandibles for tunneling through the pieces of wood they have invaded.

carpenter bees together

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are large solitary bees with a round, plump body. Adults grow to between ½ and 1 ½ inches. They are mostly black, with the mid-section of the body covered in yellow fuzz. The Abdomen is shiny black and is void of any hair.

Are wood-destroying insects dangerous?

Wood-destroying insects aren't a significant danger to us, but the damage they can cause is quite substantial. Each day they are present, they cause more and more damage.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants don’t consume wood like termites, but they do tunnel through pieces of wood to create nesting galleries. They prefer to tunnel within pieces of wood damaged by water or decaying as it is easier for them to move through it. The carpenter ants cause structural damage, and their presence within your home is a likely indicator of an underlying water issue in or around your house needing repair. 

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bee females create entry holes into pieces of wood about the width of their bodies. They then tunnel through the wood to create nesting galleries. Though these bees are solitary, many females often choose the same pieces of wood or area to nest in. Multiple nests and nests reused year after year lead to the structural damage these pests are known for. 

Male carpenter bees lack a stinger, and female carpenter bees are very docile and rarely sting. However, it is essential to remember they are a type of stinging insect, and the venom is potent enough to trigger an allergic reaction if a sting were to occur. 

In addition to the structural damage carpenter bees themselves can cause, the presence of carpenter bees will attract woodpeckers to your property. Woodpecker's feeding habits cause even more damage to a piece of wood already compromised by carpenter bees. The woodpecker’s favorite food is carpenter bee larvae, and they peck at the entrance of the nest to gain access to it. 

Why do I have a wood-destroying insect problem?

Carpenter bees may become a problem after choosing wooden trim, shingles, posts, or other wooden elements to nest in. If you see a large bee moving in and out of a hole in a piece of wood, the most likely culprit is the carpenter bee. Seeing piles of yellowish, sawdust-like material below those holes is another indicator of a carpenter bee infestation.

Like other bees, carpenter bees are attracted to properties that provide them appropriate nesting sites and easy access to food and water. Adult carpenter bees feed on plant nectar and pollen, making properties with lots of gardens and flowering vegetation attractive to them.

Carpenter ants often move into homes and businesses while out foraging for food. Carpenter ants do not feed on wood the same way that termites do; they only move into pieces of wood to tunnel through it and create nesting galleries to expand the colony. Carpenter ants typically have a primary nesting site located outside, but after finding a way inside while searching for food to feed their colony, if conditions are right, they will stay and create an indoor nest.

Where will I find wood-destroying insects?

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants move inside homes and other structures under doors, damaged trim, vents, utilities, broken screens, and foundation and exterior walls. Inside our homes they prefer to nest within pieces of structural wood located near areas of moisture:

  • Water pipes

  • Chimneys

  • Doorways

  • Window sills

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are mostly outdoor pests; while they do nest on the outside of homes and other structures, they rarely nest indoors. Female carpenter bees prefer to select pieces of wood that are more than two inches thick and unpainted, old, or weathered to nest. They fancy softwoods (pine, cedar, fir) and unfortunately often build nests in a variety of unsuitable places in our yards or on our homes, including:

  • Wooden play structures, picnic tables, and fences

  • Wooden decks and porches

  • Wooden shingles and trim

  • Roof eaves and soffits

How do I get rid of wood-destroying insects?

Carpenter bees, carpenter ants, and other wood-destroying insects have no place in our yards or homes. The damage they cause is costly and time-consuming to repair. To eliminate current wood-destroying insects from your property and stop their return, White Knight Pest Control offers quick action and effective pest control solutions. Our service plans utilize eco-friendly pest control products and top-of-the-line services to ensure we meet our customer’s pest control needs. Speak with one of our friendly professionals today and learn more about our wood-destroying insect control solutions!

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

At White Knight Pest Control, we will help you prevent problems with wood-eating insects through our regular treatments. In conjunction with our comprehensive services, the following prevention tips will help you keep wood-eating insects out of your Texas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, or Oklahoma home!

  • Eliminate entry points: Seal space in the foundation and fix gaps in your home’s exterior walls. Repair loose or damaged window or door trim, place covers over vents. Repair damage to roofs, soffits, and chimneys.

  • Limit nesting sites: Make sure wooden structures on your property are somehow treated with paint, stain, or varnish. Remove fallen trees, dead trees, tree stumps, and excess piles of wood from your yard.

  • Eliminate food sources: Limit the amount of flowering vegetation planted on your property, especially planted close to your home’s exterior. Stops ant from foraging for food by keeping lids on trashcans, picking up uneaten pet food, regularly vacuuming floors in your home, and store food in containers with air-tight lids. 

  • Eliminate excess moisture: Make sure gutters are clear of debris and not causing water to overflow into your home’s roof. Place weather stripping around windows to again help stop water from getting into your home. Repair leaky pipes and clogged drains. Use dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture in your home. If any wood in your home becomes damaged by water, quickly remove and replace it.

Helpful Wood-Destroying Insect Articles

What San Antonio Property Owners Ought To Know About Carpenter Ants


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