There are many types of insects that can invade your home here in New England but none are as destructive as wood destroying insects. These silent but destructive insects either eat or burrow through the wood in your home and can cause massive amounts of damage. $1 billion annually in the United States, to be exact, and that’s not usually covered by homeowner’s insurance. Knowing the signs and what to look for can help you stop an infestation before too much damage is done.
You’ve probably seen these guys crawling on your walls and ceiling. They are larger than other species of ants and are black or red in color. Carpenter ants are attracted to moist wood such as rotting logs and trees. In our homes, they are attracted to areas of high moisture such as around showers, sinks, in attic beams, or under the floors. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood. They bore through it to make tunnels and nesting areas for their queen. Their main food source is syrup, sugars, or anything sweet they can find.
To prevent carpenter ants from entering your home make sure there are no leaks in your roof or basement. Calk around the outside of your home to prevent them from slipping in through tiny cracks.
“Powderpost beetle” is actually a name given to the many species of wood-boring beetles that can damage the wooden structure of your home. Female beetles burrow into the wood to lay their eggs. When the larvae hatch they feed on the wood throughout the larval stage until they reach adulthood, which can take 2-5 years! That’s 2-5 years of beetle larvae chomping away in your walls without you even knowing about it. Once fully grown they will emerge to find a mate and reproduce, starting the cycle over again. This compounding effect can cause damage to wooden structures on a scale second only to termites.
Termites are by far the most destructive of the wood destroying insects. They feed on wood twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. At this rate, they can cause severe structural damage to your home or business in a very short amount of time.
At first glance, termites don’t look like much. However, get enough of them together and they can do some real damage. Around this time of year, as the ground warms, termites emerge and look for a new place to live. First, they send out scouts to look for possible locations for the new colony. Once they have found a comfortable spot inside your home, these scouts will send word back to the colony and they will quickly settle in.
Subterranean termites nest in the soil around the foundation of your home and can enter through exposed wood touching the soil or by constructing mud tunnels up the side of your home until they find wood. To keep subterranean termites away from your house make sure the soil is dry by ensuring that your downspouts are operating correctly.
Keep firewood 20 feet away from the home and if you bring it inside, burn it immediately. Firewood is an easy way for termites to hitchhike their way into your home. If you have a flower bed next to your house make sure the mulch is at least 15 inches away from the foundation.
Pest Control Unlimited offers an effective termite control program to protect your home or business from these destructive pests. After our pest control expert evaluates your property, they will provide a customized treatment program that fits your needs
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