Wood destroying insects play an important role in nature; termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and powder post beetle are part of natures “recycling team.” When a tree dies or loses a limb, the insects come to break down the debris and replenish the environment. Unfortunately, these wood destroying insects do not know the difference between a stump and a house.


There are many different types of termites. These insidious and ravenous insects live in the soil and attack from the foundation up. Termites do not generally like light air; a homeowner is not likely to know that they have an infestation without a professional inspection. Termites do more damage to the United States than fires, tornados and hurricanes combined. They can do up to 3 linear feet of damage per year.


Carpenter ants are a polymorphic species; this means that there are different sizes of ants, all of which are carpenter ants. Although the majority of carpenter ants are black, they may have red or brown coloration. A colony will have between 6 and 25,000 individuals. A nest can relocate very quickly from one site to another when they are disturbed. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, they only excavate the wood to create nesting sites.  Sawdust-like “frass” may be observed.


Adult powder post beetles are rarely seen, and are usually found in a home by the presence of small exit holes noted in sills, joists, or the sub-floor. A homeowner may also notice piles of fine powdery frass under those holes. The life cycle of a beetle may take up to a year and they are considered to be the second most destructive wood destroying insect.  They may be found infesting chairs, paneling, furniture, and other wood articles.