Common Wood Destroying Pests and Organisms

Drywood Termites are larger than subterranean termites, up to one-half inch long. Drywood termites create colonies in wood and require very little moisture to survive. Unlike Subterranean Termites, they don't require any direct connection to soil. They eat all types of wood and occasionally other cellulose material like cardboard or books. Drywood Termite infestations can exist for long periods of time before being discovered, often eating wood away but leaving the paint in place.  The most common evidence of Drywood Termites is small piles of sawdust colored pellets that fall from kick-out holes made by the termites. Just one or two pellets is difficult to see, but over time an active colony will create thousands of these pellets making their presence more obvious.

Subterranean Termites are smaller than Drywood termites, approximately one-fourth inch long. They create colonies in the soil and require moisture to survive. Unlike Drywood Termites, they do require a direct connection to soil. They build tubes up the side of concrete foundations or straight out of the ground, making highway tunnels for traveling to their food source and back. They eat all types of wood and occasionally other cellulose material like cardboard or books. The most common evidence of Subterranean Termites is the presence of mud tunnels along the foundation of the house inside or out.

Fungus is caused by excessive moisture conditions in and around your home. It starts out growing on the surface of wood but can quickly move through the wood surface to cause structural weakening of the timbers. Commonly known as Dry-rot, these infected timbers may need to be replaced or re-enforced  to restore the wood's structural integrity.

Carpenter Ants don't eat wood, but they sure like to make it their home. They bore into wood framing and even wood cabinets to make their nests. They do cause structural damage but are usually noticed by home owners during swarming season when huge black flying ants are all over the place. They are about 3/4 of an inch in length.

Carpenter Bees are huge black bees that bore holes into wood to make their nest to lay eggs. They are usually found in fences and trees. The holes are about 1/2 of an inch in diameter and about 2 inches deep.

Powder Post Beetles are found in a variety of wood products. They infest everything from wicker baskets to hardwood floors and pianos. They are usually detected by seeing very fine saw dust or little holes in wood surfaces.