Termites find the wood frame of a home quite tasty, and their incessant snacking can cause a great deal of damage, but there are other insects that can do their share of damage by making themselves at home deep within yours. While they don’t eat wood like termites do, carpenter bees and carpenter ants chomp away at it, tunneling into it for the purpose of creating nesting areas to begin the next generation. Both are beneficial insects in their own way and have their important purpose in the world, but when they invade your home, the seemingly harmless looking carpenter bee and carpenter ants set out to make their own house plans a reality at your expense..
The solitary carpenter bee burrows into unpainted wood, even wood that has been treated or stained, chewing precise circles about half an inch in diameter that right-angle into long chambers. Holes are usually the first indication that a carpenter bee is making its home in your deck railing or fence post. Very often the bee can be seen coming and going from the holes. Similarly, carpenter ants use their mandibles to excavate nests within wood, tending to seek out wood that has been softened by moisture or decay, adding insult to injury and making an already bad situation worse. Sawdust around the nest is the common sign of an infestation.
Pesticides are generally used to eliminate the pests, though less toxic methods may also succeed in taking care of the problem. It’s preferable to call a pest control professional since chemicals can be dangerous and the bugs may return if the treatment isn’t done properly. But knowing the signs of an infestation and taking action immediately is the key to success in dealing with the intruders and minimizing the damage to your home.