Wood-destroying pests are some of the most destructive pests that any homeowner can face. The true danger of these pests is how long they can go unnoticed as they carve their wooden tunnels. The longer that a wood-destroying pest invasion goes unchecked, the more damage they will cause to the home.
Let’s examine the three most common wood-destroying insects in St. Louis, as well as the clear signs of an infestation.
Wood-Destroying Pest Species
There are three main wood-destroying pests in St. Louis: termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees. They all cause extensive damage to the wood that they invade, but the specifics of each infestation differ with the species.
Termites invade moisture-damaged wood because it is softer on their mandibles, or mouthparts. They never sleep and like to stay in the darkness of their tunnel system at all times. Each termite colony comes from a queen who can produce 30,000 eggs per day.
Carpenter ants also live in huge colonies and prefer wood that is already damaged. They typically invade houses because the insulation provides extra warmth for the ants. These ants do not consume the wood they gnaw through, so they forage for foods with plenty of sugar or protein.
Carpenter bees are distinct because they do not live in colonies. Instead, every hole they carve is used as their own egg-laying site. Each generation will use the same hole by carving deeper into the same wood. Carpenter bees are most active in the spring and prefer to invade unpainted wood that is near flowers.
The key to avoiding a wood-destroying pest infestation is to know the signs before your walkthrough of the home. These pests may be hidden, but they always leave plenty of evidence to show that they are residing in the home or yard.
- Small Holes, Tiny holes in wood, baseboards, walls, fencing, or doors are a sign that wood-destroying pests are inside and already hard at work.
- Discarded Wings, This is more specific to termites, as the reproductives will shed their wings after they find a new nesting site and lay their eggs.
- Mud Tubes, Also specific to termites, mud tubes are made of dirt, wood, and termite saliva and are packed onto the exterior of their tunnels to give extra insulation.
- Hollow-Sounding Wood, Once wood is thoroughly invaded by invasive pests, it will sound hollow when you knock on it.
- Wood Shavings, Wood-destroying pests are messy, so it’s common to find wood shavings and sawdust at the base of the affected wall or piece of wood.
- Actual Insects, As with any pest problem, finding live or dead insects of the same species in the house is a sign of an infestation.
Prevent and Protect Your New Home
Everyday pest prevention is simply a matter of checking for anything out of the ordinary. For instance, examining the home for any signs of wood damage is essential in preventing wood-destroying pests. They all prefer natural wood that is already damaged, and it’s more cost-efficient to repair wood damage before a group of hungry pests get to it. The common types of damage that pests invade include water, mold, decay, and dry rot.
Once you move into your new home, there are specific tasks you can do to protect your house against wood-destroying pests. If any tree branches or plants are touching the house, it provides a direct path for the pests. Keep all plants, bushes, and trees trimmed back from the house to take away these pest highways.
Since wood-destroying pests primarily destroy untreated wood, a great way to prevent them from invading is to paint any exposed natural wood. A wooden fence is important to paint because it is an easy target for wood-destroying pests. A simple stain or paint job should suffice.
When you are looking around the house for repairs or upgrades you want done, keep an eye out for the signs of a wood-destroying pest infestation. The amount of time, money, and frustration you will save by preventing these pests is invaluable. Protect your peace of mind by staying vigilant against these wood-boring pests!
If you have any questions about pests, visit https://pointepestcontrol.com/