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Wood Destroying Insects

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Wood Destroying Insects

For homeowners there are numerous insects which can create havoc year around. These insects include bees, beetles and perhaps even more frightening termites; those pesky little insects that can literally create thousands of dollars worth of damage to your beloved home.

Bumble bees can certainly be frightening when they are buzzing around outside near your flower gardens and rose bushes; however, that particular species of bees offer very little to actually fear. Many people are unaware that only the female bumble bees possess the ability to sting. The male bees frequently hover around the dust and will commonly buzz around anyone they perceive to be an intruder; however, they do not possess a stinger. Only the female bee can sting and she only rarely uses it. The real danger for homeowners is a slightly bigger bee known as the carpenter bee. These are wood destroying insects that can actually cause very serious structural damage to your home if the situation is not noticed in time and addressed.

Carpenter bees, taking their name from their love of wood, fall into the same category as other pests that can cause damage including beetles and carpenter ants. These insects tend to establish nests in the wood of structures. Unfortunately, once the nest is established taking care of the matter will typically mean calling in a professional exterminator to determine the extent of the problem and get it under control. A trained exterminator can also take steps to prevent re-infestation. Most exterminators will use what is known as an Integrated Pest Management plan to address the problem. This plan takes into consideration current activity and how combining several approaches can help to achieve long-term control of the problem including structural repair. The total goal is long-term management, which is an important point, considering the large investment most homeowners make in their homes.

A professional exterminator is able to see structural damage that a lay person would not normally be able to detect. This damage can result from a variety of sources including beetles, carpenter ants and bees as well as termites.

Estimates indicate that termites alone account for more than $2.5 billion in damage to homes and subsequent treatments each year. When damage to affected wood is allowed to progress without proper treatment it can result in the entire collapse of the structure.

Carpenter bees can also cause significant destruction as well; however. These bees contain the ability to actually drill through wood in order to create a nest. They prefer to drill holes on the underside of wood in areas such as decks, siding, soffits, fence posts, overhangs and window frames. They are particularly dangerous to cedar siding. Even though the holes they drill are only about an inch or so thick, the female bees have the ability to make a right turn and then continue to bore areas extremely long in depth. In some cases, if several bees are involved, this could be up to 10 feet. These bees are so dangerous to wood that even pressure treated lumber is no stop for them.

Carpenter ants work in a similar manner, by hollowing out tunnels in wood to serve as their nests. They can also cause serious damage.
Signs of an infestation may include ragged saw dust areas located near wood structural areas as well as the presence of small holes in the same areas.

All of these insects can be difficult to control; however, the assistance of a trained pest management professional can help you to develop a plan to control the insects as well as prevent re-infestation.