what insects eat wood

Wood-Eating Insects: Identify the Culprits Now

Have you noticed strange signs of damage to the wooden structures in your home? It’s important to identify the culprits behind this destruction in order to take prompt action. While termites are often the first insects that come to mind when we think of wood-eating pests, there are actually several other types of insects that feed on wood, posing a risk to the integrity of your home.

Termites, along with wood-infesting beetles, are the most common wood-eating culprits in this part of the country. Termites, like many wood-destroying pests, thrive in warm and moist climates, making them a constant threat to your home. But they are not alone in their destructive capabilities. Wood-boring beetles also pose a risk, especially their larvae, which can cause significant damage to wood.

While termites and wood-boring beetles grab most of the attention, there are other wood-damaging pests that you should be aware of. Carpenter bees and carpenter ants, for instance, may not consume wood, but they create nests within it, leading to structural issues. Giant resin bees and acrobat ants are considered “squatters,” making use of wood damage caused by other wood-destroying pests. And then there are lesser-known culprits like wharf borers, telephone pole beetles, and wood-boring weevils, which can also wreak havoc on wooden structures.

To protect your home from these wood-eating insects, it’s crucial to identify them accurately and take appropriate measures. In the following sections, we will delve into the common wood-eating insects, their characteristics, and effective prevention methods so that you can safeguard your home from future infestations.

Common Wood-Eating Insects: Termites and Wood-Boring Beetles

When it comes to wood-eating insects, termites and wood-boring beetles are among the most common culprits. These pests can cause extensive damage to your home’s wooden structures if left unchecked. Let’s take a closer look at these common wood-eating insects and understand their behavior.

Termites are undoubtedly the most well-known and aggressive wood-eating insects. In the Southeast region, subterranean termites are the predominant type. They thrive in warm and moist environments. Subterranean termites build their nests underground and create tunnels to access above-ground food sources, such as the wooden structures in your home. Drywood termites, on the other hand, are another type found in the Southeast. They infest dry wood and need specialized treatment for eradication.

Wood-boring beetles can also wreak havoc on your wooden structures. These beetles lay their eggs in wood, and when the larvae hatch, they feed on the wood. This feeding activity can cause significant damage over time. Common types of wood-boring beetles include Lyctinae, Anobiidae, Bostrichidae, and Old House Borer. Signs of infestation include emergence holes left by the larvae.

While both termites and wood-boring beetles are destructive, they differ in their speed of damage. Termites, with their large colonies and relentless feeding habits, can cause swift destruction. On the other hand, wood-boring beetles take a slower approach, giving homeowners more time to identify and address the issue before extensive damage occurs.

It’s crucial to stay vigilant and take proactive measures to protect your home from these common wood-eating insects. Regular inspections, timely treatment, and preventive measures can help safeguard your wooden structures and preserve the integrity of your home.

Next, we’ll explore other wood-destroying insects that you should be aware of and provide prevention tips to keep these pests at bay.

Other Wood-Destroying Insects and Prevention Tips

In addition to termites and wood-boring beetles, there are other wood-destroying insects that you should be aware of to protect your home. Carpenter bees and carpenter ants may not directly cause damage, but their nesting habits can compromise the integrity of wooden structures. These insects tunnel into the wood to create nests, potentially leading to structural issues if left untreated.

Giant resin bees and acrobat ants are another concern. While they don’t cause wood damage themselves, they take advantage of existing wood damage caused by other pests. This can further weaken the structure and attract more wood-eating insects.

Lesser-known but equally damaging culprits include wood-boring weevils, wharf borers, and telephone pole beetles. These insects can infest and consume wood, posing a threat to the stability and safety of your home.

To safeguard your home from these wood-destroying insects, follow these prevention tips. First, address any moisture issues, as damp wood is more attractive to pests. Seal cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior to prevent easy access for insects. Additionally, finish exposed wood surfaces with appropriate sealants or paints to provide an extra layer of protection. It’s also essential to keep your yard tidy and clear of wood debris, as this can serve as a potential harbor for pests. Finally, make sure to keep your trash covered, as wood-destroying insects are often attracted to decaying organic matter.

To ensure comprehensive protection against wood-eating pests, consider scheduling regular professional pest control services. A licensed pest control expert can effectively eliminate existing infestations and provide ongoing prevention measures to keep your home safe from these damaging insects.


Q: What are wood-eating insects?

A: Wood-eating insects are insects that feed on wood as their primary food source. They can cause damage to wooden structures such as homes, furniture, and fences.

Q: Which insects feed on wood?

A: Termites and wood-boring beetles are the most common insects that feed on wood. Other wood-destroying insects include carpenter bees, carpenter ants, giant resin bees, acrobat ants, wood-boring weevils, wharf borers, and telephone pole beetles.

Q: How do termites damage wood?

A: Termites feed on wood by consuming the cellulose present in the wood. They can weaken and destroy the wooden structures of homes, leading to structural issues if left untreated.

Q: What are the signs of a wood-boring beetle infestation?

A: The emergence holes left by wood-boring beetle larvae are a common sign of infestation. These holes are usually small and round, and they can be found on the surface of the wood.

Q: How can I protect my home from wood-destroying insects?

A: To protect your home from wood-destroying insects, you can take several preventative measures. These include addressing moisture issues, sealing cracks and gaps in your home, finishing exposed wood surfaces, keeping your yard tidy, and ensuring that your trash is covered.

Source Links

Scroll to Top