Wood Destroying Insects

Carpenter Ants

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 Contrary to what some may believe, carpenter ants do not eat wood. Carpenter ants eat whatever source of protein and sugar that they can find. When outdoors they'll eat other insects. When indoors they are attracted to syrup, honey, sugar, jelly, and other sweets. The damage that they do to wood as they as they create galleries and tunnels is what causes people to assume that they eat wood.

Carpenter ants nest in moist wood out of doors but of more concern to the home owner is that they also nest in moist or decayed wood inside buildings. Wood decay caused by leaks, condensation, or poor air circulation can attract carpenter ants to nest in a home or other building. Commonly carpenter ants nest behind bathroom tiles; around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers; under roofing, in attic beams, and under subfloor insulation; Carpenter ants may also nest in foam insulation and in hollow spaces such as doors, curtain rods, and wall voids.

A main carpenter ant colony will sometimes establish a satellite colony nearby. Satellite nest do not require moisture, so they may be found in dryer areas away from the main nest. In late summer, winged carpenter ants emerge from pupae and appear in structures in late winter and early spring as they swarm from a satellite nest.

The winged carpenter ants are often the first sign that a homeowner will get that carpenter ants exist. It is important to note where and when the swarming ants are first seen. This information is important in order to determine the location of the main colon

Carpenter Bees

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 In order to get rid of carpenter bees, it is important to know their entomology and work in accordance with their habits.A carpenter bee will drill a hole about a half inch in diameter into any wood surface it can find.This includes eaves,wood trim, siding, decks and patio furniture. After boring a two inch deep hole the carpenter bee will make a 90 degree turn and bore several more inches. In the end any given hole can represent several feet of carpenter bee damage due to extensive nesting tunnels. Carpenter bees lay eggs and store food in these tunnels providing all that is needed for the carpenter bee's complete life cycle. A carpenter bee will tend to return to the nest where they were born. Old nests are used year after year, making carpenter bee control difficult for the average homeowner. If the original nest is occupied, other female bees will drill a new nest. A single nest one year will become two or three the next. Problems rapidly escalate and soon you may have hundreds of holes. When you have numerous nests, getting rid of carpenter bees is a job not to be undertaken by the novice bee exterminator.In an extensive nest you will have numerous larva. The larva of carpenter bee is large and noisy and may attract predators like the woodpecker, which can do further damage to a structure. If you suspect carpenter bee activity on your property it is best to call a professional experienced in carpenter bee extermination. Treating this wood boring bee can be complex and the damage that they can do to your home can be extensive. In order to minimize carpenter bee damage a professional pest control company should be called upon sooner rather than later. 

Powderpost Beetles

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Powder posts beetles can be introduced into a home on lumber, furniture or other infested wood. One of the most common causes of severe infestation is caused by reusing old lumber from barns or historic buildings. To prevent a powder post beetle infestation, check all unfinished wood that is brought into your home. Powder post beetles lay their eggs in unfinished wood. To prevent infestation be sure that wood is treated with paint or varnish. Check the undersides of furniture as well as many times these areas will require a coat of varnish to protect against powder post beetle infestation.Infested wood will show signs of small holes.Most powder post beetles are active from April to July. Around this time you may see small holes saw dust piles on window sills, floor boards and sometimes in furniture.Sometimes powder post beetles die out on their own accord. In order to determine whether the infestation is active or not, look for fresh saw dust around the exit holes. Old abandoned holes will have the weathered appearance of the surrounding wood. You can also look for dust or dirt that may have accumulated around older holes that will not be present on brand new holes.

You may also find out if an infestation is active by sealing up any existing exit holes, sweep or vacuum up all powder, and recheck the wood for new holes and powder at a later date.

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