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What are wood-destroying insects?

Wood-destroying insects invade and damage wood found in our yards or our homes. They invade the wood for one of two reasons: either to feed on it or to use it as a place to nest.

a carpenter bee on a green plant

Wood-destroying insects living in our region of Pennsylvania include powderpost beetles, old house borers, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees:

  • Female powderpost beetle lay their eggs in cracks of pieces of wood. When the larvae hatch, they begin to feed on the wood, turning it into a fine powder. These pests invade both hardwoods and softwoods.

  • The old house borer is a type of longhorn beetle that attacks seasoned softwoods like pine. Their females also lay their eggs in wood, and the larvae then feed on it. You can identify these pests by the distinctive rasping or clicking sound they make while feeding.

  • Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of household invading ants. Carpenter ants do not feed on the wood they have invaded; they tunnel through it to create nesting sites.

  • Female carpenter bees damage wooden structures by creating tunnels and nesting galleries inside of them to lay their eggs and provide a safe place for their developing larvae.

Are wood-destroying insects dangerous?

Wood-destroying insects aren't dangerous to people, but they are destructive to our properties. Their presence can cause extensive and costly damage to structures in our yards, our home's structural wood, and even damage wooden and antique furniture. Carpenter bee females have a stinger, but as long as you are not bothering them or their nest, they are very docile and rarely sting.

To protect your property from wood-destroying insects, it is always best to partner with a professional. They will quickly eliminate current intruders and prevent future problems with these destructive pests.

Why do I have a wood-destroying insect problem?

Wood-destroying insects move onto properties either on their own or inside wooden beams, structural wood, or furniture that you bring inside. Common entry points include cracks in the foundation, gaps in exterior walls, and open windows or doors.

Moisture attracts many wood-destroying pests, like carpenter ants to yards. Older or untreated wood on our properties attract nesting carpenter bees.

Where will I find wood-destroying insects?

Female powderpost beetles lay their eggs on the surface or just under the surface of the wood they choose. Flooring, structural timbers, antique furniture, and wood trim is regularly invaded and damaged by powderpost beetles.

Carpenter ants nest outside in dead trees and stumps, rotting fence posts, and old woodpiles. Carpenter ants often find their way into our homes while out foraging for food. Once inside, they may decide to stay and build a satellite nest; in structural wood behind walls, under floors, or in crawl spaces.

Carpenter bees nest inside older or bare pieces of wood. Fences, decks, wooden play structures, wooden outdoor furniture, and wooden shingles or trim are examples of places where female carpenter bees make nests in our yards.

Old house borers prefer pine, spruce, and coniferous wood. They usually attack wood before it's used for construction, making them a common problem in newer homes. Generally, infestations stay in one part of a house; however, they are known for causing a lot of damage in a short period.

How do I get rid of wood-destroying insects?

Let the professional at Masters Touch Pest Solutions eliminate wood-destroying insects from your Pennsylvania property. We have over 25 years of local pest control experience, and we will provide you with the effective and dependable pest control services necessary to identify and stop wood-destroying insects in their tracks!

If you live in the West Chester area and need help getting rid of damaging wood-destroying insects from your residential or commercial property, reach out to Masters Touch Pest Solutions. Our professionals will be happy to go over our tailored wood-destroying insect control options with you.

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

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, take advantage of the following prevention tips to keep wood-destroying insects out of your home:

  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other wooden debris from your yard.

  • Varnish, stain, or paint wooden structures on your property.

  • Fix leaky hoses and outdoor fixtures.

  • Keep basements well-ventilated and dry using dehumidifiers.

  • Keep insects out of your home by sealing gaps in the roofline and cracks in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Inspect wooden furniture, wooden beams, and structural wood for signs of wood-boring insects before bringing them into your home.


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