4 Pests That Destroy Wood

When it comes to maintaining your home, the last thing you want to deal with are pests. Pests like roaches and mice are often considered the scourge of the homeowner's world and can lend themselves to making a clean home a, well, not so clean home. However, there are pests that can do even more damage than that. Many wood-destroying pests can cause structural damage to your home that can leave you in a precarious and costly situation. There are a few pests that are known to destroy wood. 


Perhaps the most well-known of wood-destroying insects, termites are winged insects that live in the cellulose of wood and burrow through it, creating tunnels in order to make homes and travel pathways for themselves. Unfortunately for you, what creates a home for them will create a headache for you! It can be difficult to identify if your wood has a termite issue, as on the surface, your wood will look totally fine.

If prodded with an instrument or a tough tug of the hand, the wood can easily crumble, however. Termites also infest areas that are particularly susceptible to damage, including moist areas in the basement and areas that are close to your foundation.

Carpenter Ants

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood, but do burrow through it in order to create tunnels for their homes. They come in a wide array of colors, including red, brown, and yellow, and are often confused with termites due to the fact that they sometimes have wings.

You can distinguish the two from one another by noticing that a carpenter ant's front wings are significantly longer than their back wings, while a termite's wings are of equal length. Carpenter ants are often attracted to already rotting wood, so they can take a structural issue that is already quite damaged and exacerbate the issue tenfold.

Powderpost Beetles

Powderpost beetles are a type of small beetle, no more than an inch in length. These beetles have long bodies and tiny heads. They tend to lay eggs on the surface of wood, or just slightly below wood. When the larvae hatch, they feast upon the top layer of the wood and sometimes burrow a bit below the surface and create a number of tunnels.

This type of beetle will eat both hard woods as well as soft woods and cause serious structural and aesthetic damage to most of what they come into contact with. Noticing powderpost beetle infestations is quite a bit easier than an infestation of carpenter ants or termites due to the fact that they can cause noticeable aesthetic damage to the exterior of the wood they inhabit.

Wood Borers

Wood borers are not one specific kind of insect, but rather, types of insects that can cause aesthetic damage to your wood. They are not quite as harmful as the other insects listed above, as they do not cause any serious structural damage to your wood. The most common wood boring insects are wood wasps, bark beetles, long-horned beetles and metallic wood borers.

The size of wood boring insects range greatly, with long-horned beetles, for example, being on the tiny side of the equation and insects such as wood wasps being quite a bit larger. They tend to make their home in structurally-sound areas of your home and free-standing wood situations, like where you place your firewood.

Having to deal with pests is difficult. Having to deal with pests that bore through your wood is even more difficult. If you are dealing with termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles or wood borers, contact a pest control professional that deals with these pests to have them permanently removed from your home.