Wood Destroying Pests in Northern Virginia

When you think of insects tunneling through the wood of your home, many people’s first thought is termites. This is for good reason. The termites in the Gainesville, Haymarket, and Bristow area cause millions of dollars of damage each year and the average homeowner who must pay for termite extermination and repairs due to an infestation has an average cost of $3,000.

But termites are far from the only pest in Virginia that can cause wood damage to local homes. These are all of the wood destroying insects present in our area and what to expect if you have an infestation of them inside the walls of your property.

Types of Wood Destroying Insects

Wood destroying insects cause their damage by tunneling beneath the surface of wood. While other pests, like rodents, can cause damage to wood by chewing on it, this damage is often easier to identify and take steps to stop since it is more readily visible.

But damage from wood destroying insects often goes unnoticed for several months or even years. This is what enables damage from wood destroying insects to become so expensive for local properties.

Knowing the risks and their various signs is one of your best tools in preventing wood destroying insect problems at your house. Here are some of the various pests you might look for:

  • Eastern Subterranean Termites – Termites are the best known and most frequent cause of wood damage at homes in Virginia. Local termites live underground and build their nest in moist soil. Only the workers travel into nearby wood sources and tunnel through wood 24/7. The wood they consume is used as the primary food source for the entire colony.
  • Carpenter Ants – While most ant species are harmless and merely a nuisance, carpenter ants are one exception. These ants live directly in the wood, but do not eat it. Instead, they build a wide network of tunnels connecting various galleries in which they live. Carpenter ants use rotting wood for their homes, so parts of your property that have been affected by water damage or wood rot are particularly at risk.
  • Powderpost Beetles – This species of beetle causes its damage to wood when the adult females tunnel in and lay their eggs beneath the surface. The eggs hatch and the larvae grow into adults, a process which can take between 1 and 5 years. Once full grown, the larvae dig additional tunnels to exit the wood. The damage from powderpost beetles occurs in hardwood.
  • Carpenter Bees – Individual carpenter bees will create their nests by boring into wood. They do not eat the wood, but their nesting tunnels can still be damaging. There is also little risk of a sting from these bees as the males lack stingers and females will only sting when threatened.

The main challenge when dealing with any of these wood eating insects is detecting any activity as soon as possible since each day that bugs are present risks the damage becoming worse. If you do suspect that any of these wood destroying insects are active in your home, ExtermPRO can provide an in depth inspection for wood destroying insects using extensive training and advanced technology to locate even the most hidden of pests. Learn more about wood destroying pest control today.