Environmental Issue & Sick Building Syndrome Blog

Understanding Insects that can Devour Your Home

April 28th, 2018 6:48 PM by Dan Howard

It’s the time of year that termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and other wood destroying insects are on the prowl to devour or damage wood. Your home could be on their list of targets.  When it comes to hiding from homeowners, the destructive pests have two things going for them. They do their damage in places few people look and most homeowners don't recognize what an infestation looks like. 

Many of the homes that have mold have wood destroying insects. Many of the homes with wood destroying insects have mold. The lesson is that if you have one, check for the other.

           Just like with mold, most infestations start where there is wet wood. It can be from a wet basement, leak where a concrete patio meets the house wall. a poorly sealed door sill, or a plumbing leak. The wood destroying insects found in most areas need water and lots of it.  

            Wood destroying insect infestations start with a nearby 'successful" but crowded insect nest. The original nest could be in a dead tree, its roots or a woodpile. The initial nest can also be in your neighbor's house, or the nearby woods. This established nest will send out a reproductive queen and additional insects to help the "new town" get established.  

          This entourage of invading insects are swarmers. These are insects that temporarily have wings to carry them out to colonize. They lose the wings at their new home. Think of the wings as their Conestoga Wagons to the Wild West or Shuttle to the space station. If you see something that may be members of a new colony, capture some of the insects in a jar to show a pest control professional.

The biggest mistake people can make is believing that after seeing swarmers, the swarmers decided to go to someone else’s home. The reality is that swarmers usually don’t leave. They start their nest in a hidden area.

Posted by Dan Howard on April 28th, 2018 6:48 PM



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