Although termites are the primary wood-eating pests that homeowners hear about, there are actually many other varieties of insects that pose a risk to the structure of your home. 

We know that’s a bummer, but don’t worry! Our resident entomologist, Kevin Hathorne, has done extensive research on the most common types of wood-destroying pests, so you can be prepared for anything. 

Check out some common critters to be on the lookout for, then call your local Terminix technician to come up with a game plan and ensure your home is covered, inside and out.

Common Wood-Eating Insects

In this part of the country, termites and wood-infesting beetles are the most common wood-eating culprits you might encounter in a home. 

Here are more than 3,100 species of termites worldwide, but the most common and aggressive type in the Southeast region is subterranean. Drywood termites are another type of termite found in the southeast, but these termites require a specialized treatment. Termites, like most wood-eating and wood-destroying pests, prefer the warm, moist climates that we have, and they can chomp on your house 24/7, 365 days a year. If you have a termite bond with Terminix, don’t sweat it! Learn more about our termite protection and guarantee here

The second most common wood-eating culprit are the wood boring beetles, but few people know the similar risks they pose to your home. There are four main types of these pests that can inflict structural damage: Lyctinae, Anobiidae, Bostrichidae, and Old House Borer. 

With wood boring beetles, it’s the larvae that present the most danger to your home. The white, C-shaped larvae live in and consume wood, and you’ll typically see small round or oval-shaped emergence holes appear when an infestation is present. The one silver lining is that beetles destroy wood very slowly, unlike termites, so you have plenty of time to identify the issue and decide on treatment with your trusted Terminix technician!

Wood-Destroying Insects & “Squatters”

Now let’s take a look at some of the less common wood-destroying critters we know about. Carpenter bees and carpenter ants don’t actually consume wood, but they do cause damage to it. These insects use the wood in your home as a nesting medium or shelter—kind of like we do!

Carpenter bees bore ½ inch round holes into wooden members of structures, lay their eggs inside them, and provision them with food. Terminix is a big fan of bees and everything they do for our ecosystem, but we also want to protect your home from the damage that some species may cause. Our carpenter bee treatment protects the areas on the outside of your home that carpenter bees may target.

Carpenter ants, on the other hand, can build large colonies in your home if you’re not careful. They are attracted to damp or decaying wood, and can often make their way inside from unsealed openings around utility pipes or from tree branches that overhang roofs. If you notice a large amount of oversized ants crawling around your home or see any debris like wood shavings nearby, call in the experts at Terminix ASAP. 

The “squatters” of the insect world are pests such as giant resin bees and acrobat ants. These misunderstand insects inhabit wood damage that was caused by a wood-destroying or wood-eating critter, but they don’t actually cause any damage themselves. For example, giant resin bees will typically live inside old carpenter bee holes and push out debris left behind, giving them a bad rap and making it appear that they are in fact causing the damage. Similarly, acrobat ants can inhabit areas with previous wood damage caused by termites, carpenter ants or beetles. 

These guys don’t cause damage but they can be a nuisance, and your Terminix technician can identify them after a careful inspection and determine the best treatment strategy. 

The Other Guys: Wood-Boring Weevils & More

Finally, we’ve arrived at “the other guys.” There are a handful of lesser-known wood-damaging pest species that exist beyond those we’ve previously mentioned, particularly in the Southeast. These uncommon critter culprits include wharf borers, telephone pole beetles, and wood-boring weevils. 

Kevin Hathorne, our head entomologist, has had first-hand experience with a few  cases of wood-boring weevils in the South. In both situations, the cause of the wood-boring weevil infestation was some sort of leak or excess moisture issue in the home, and the situation was rectified once the water was removed. 

Luckily, our Terminix experts have seen almost EVERYTHING there is to see, so you always have knowledge and expertise on your side—no matter what you’re dealing with. Call us today to schedule a free inspection for pest control services, termite control, and more!

Search the Blog