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Termites Aren’t The Only Wood-Destroying Insect To Watch Out For

carpenter ant in new england

When you hear “wood-destroying” insect, you might think of termites immediately. But they are not the only insects that do a lot of damage to wood. There are other wood-destroying insects too, ones that threaten New England homes every single year. These insects are carpenter bees, carpenter ants, and powderpost beetles. They don’t actually eat the wood the way termites do, they burrow through the wood to make nests. These pests can cause almost as much damage as termites if they are given enough time and are not eliminated quickly. New England homeowners should be on the lookout for these pests as spring and summer approach.

Carpenter bees like to bore holes in soft wood that is bare so they can lay their eggs. The holes they bore are about ½” diameter and they will leave a tell-tale pile of sawdust outside the entry hole. They are fairly large bees that grow up to 1 ½” long. Many people mistake them for bumble bees, but the carpenter bees' abdomens are not hairy and their belly is shiny and black. The female carpenter bee has a stinger which she will use only if she feels threatened.

Carpenter ants are a large type of ant that nests in large numbers inside wood. They are known to cause a lot of structural damage as they make their nests inside wood. They grow to about ½” long, and can be red, black, or a combination of those colors. They have the ability to bite, but they rarely do so, and they are not venomous. These wood-destroying ants will make small holes in wooden products and structures in your home, kicking out sawdust below the entry point.

Powderpost beetles also destroy wood by boring into the unfinished wood and laying their eggs just below the surface. When their eggs hatch, the larvae will eat their way through the wood and leave thin tunnels throughout. Once they are adults, they will make a tiny opening to emerge through. They grow to about 3/16” in length and are usually black to reddish-brown in color. Powderpost beetles can bite, but it would be rare for them to do so, and they spend most of their time inside wood. They leave behind tiny pinhole openings in wood and a fine powdery dust outside.

Protect your home and property from these dangerous wood-destroying insects by calling the experts at Big Blue Bug Solutions before they become a threat. Our professional technicians have the tools and knowledge to help you get rid of carpenter bees, carpenter ants, and powderpost beetles, and help you avoid them in the future.