Within our habitat, whether it maybe our home or our office we utilize wood. They are used as studs and frames in our homes or maybe as part of the infrastructure within our office. The presence of wood or their bi-products within these environments provide a natural food source or home for several wood destroying pests…termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder posts beetles.
These insects can perform phenomenal damage to a structure and can pose serious financial and safety risks to our customers’ well being and their assets. According to the National Pest Management Association, Americans spend $5 billion annually repairing the damage caused by termites; therefore it becomes necessary for banks to request a Wood Destroying Insects Report when purchasers are buying a new home and in some instances when a home is being refinanced.
Termites are subterranean social insects that will infest the wood portions of a structure and eat the wood. The workers primary function is to seek and eat cellulose which is derived from wood and paper and take it back to the colony to feed the rest of the colony.In early spring the “swarmers” – which are the winged reproductive adult termites – swarm out of the area being infested in search of creating a new colony. These swarmers are sometimes mistaken to be ants however this activity is indicative of something greater as the workers are nearby doing some form of damage.
Carpenter Ants – These ants range in ¼ to ½ inch long and will infest a structure that has wood and at least 15% of moisture in it. These ants don’t eat the wood but they excavate cavities within it to build their home. They create primary and satellite colonies and will forage up to 200 yards. They produce winged “swarmers” which may appear between April and August.
Carpenter Bees – these large bees – whose abdomens are shiny, black - are most active in late spring through the summer months. They drill circular tunnels – approximately ½ inch in diameter – in exterior wood structures (preferably unpainted and untreated), such as decks, pillars and soffits. The adult female carpenter bee does this so that she can deposit her egg within the structure. She fills it with wax and leaves it there and an adult bee emerges from the structure in the following spring. They will continue the same cycle each year unless treated.
Powder Post Beetles
Powder Post Beetles – These beetles are known for their destructiveness and will consume dead wood and leave just its outer shell and “powder” which is a fine wood dust.
Your home or office can be the target of several structural insects and rodents. These insects and rodents can be the vector of diseases and viruses and can cause severe damage and harm to you, your customers, family, friends and investment. In addition, there are the usual nuisance pests and of course those that can also scare you.