Are you finding holes in the wood of your home? Are you seeing areas that are split or walls that are bulging? Is your fence or deck being nibbled on? There are several wood-destroying pests that could be to blame. Let's take a look at a few of the possibilities and discuss what you need to know to protect your property.
Pests That Commonly Damage Aiken Homes
There are many pests that can damage your home. This is a short list to give you an idea of what you're up against.
Termites — When it comes to wood-destroying pests, subterranean termites stand out from all the others. These termites cost U.S. property owners more than $5 billion every year.
Powderpost Beetles — Next to termites, powderpost beetles are the most destructive wood-destroying organisms in the United States. These insects are a serious threat to homes that have crawl spaces underneath or areas of high moisture.
Carpenter Ants — The most common and destructive carpenter ant species is Camponotus pennsylvanicus, which is referred to as the black carpenter ant. They are a highly destructive species that can damage softwood and hardwood.
Carpenter Bees — These big fat bees that resemble bumblebees are beneficial insects, until they start boring tunnels into the wood of your home. As they return, season after season, reusing old tunnels and making them longer, carpenter bees can do quite a bit of damage.
Rodents — Mice, rats, and, to some extent, squirrels, can present a threat to the wood of homes in Aiken. Rodents chew on wood and other materials using strong teeth that are able to make impressive holes.
Woodpeckers — While we'll be focusing on the pests that chew on the wood of your home, it is important to understand that woodpeckers and other pests can damage your home as they attempt to feed on carpenter bee larvae, carpenter ants, and other critters inside the wood of your home.
Understanding The Warning Signs
When wood-destroying organisms chew on your home, they can leave signs to help you figure out which of the pests above are to blame.
Powderpost beetles and carpenter ants are tiny insects that create tiny holes to push sawdust out of their tunnels. This sawdust material is called frass. If you find damage that has frass underneath or clinging to a surface, one of these two pests is likely the culprit. If you see frass near or underneath large, circular holes, carpenter bees are the pest you're dealing with.
Subterranean termites have an interesting relationship with dirt. They live in the ground and create mud tubes up the sides of surfaces to gain access to the wood of man-made structures. Soil protects termites by keeping predators and dry air out of their tunnels. If you find wood damage that has mud or dirt, you are likely looking at subterranean termite damage.
Out In The Open
When you find damage that is in an open location, there is probably only one pest to blame. Rats are bold animals that will do damage in areas that can be seen. Other pests don't do this.
Mice don't do damage out in the open because they are timid and prefer to stay concealed.
Termites don't do damage in the open because they are strongly repelled by light.
Carpenter ants don't prefer to do damage in the open because they are nocturnal and prefer darkness. But every once in a while, they can.
As a carpenter bee tunnels through wood, it can sometimes breach tunnel walls. Since carpenter bees don't need to protect themselves from dry air the way subterranean termites do, these holes will not be immediately sealed up with soil or some other material. You'll see the damage, and this damage is likely to look like the dots and dashes of morse code.
What To Do When You See Pest Damage
Hopefully, the above information will help you figure out which wood-destroying organism you're dealing with. But no matter what is destroying your home, you need to take steps to protect your property. The best way to do that is to reach out to Aiken Pest Control. We'll know what's eating your home and, more importantly, what is required to stop them. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.