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Home Improvement

Insects can harm your home

10/4/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Left unchecked, termites, one of which is shown above, and other wood-boring insects can cause considerable damage to homes.
Photo courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection
Homeowners looking to prevent their homes from becoming a meal or nesting site for potentially harmful insects might know to keep watch for termites during the year. But termites aren’t the only insects that can damage a home. There are a few other pests that can bore through the wood of homes and structures, potentially causing considerable damage. People can familiarize themselves with these other wood-boring bugs and recognize the signs of infestation.

• Carpenter ants: These insects get their name because they prefer to nest above ground in wooden structures. Unlike their smaller ant cousins, who make intricate colony systems underground, larger carpenter ants prefer tree stumps, lumber, subfloors or even roofs. They don’t use the wood for food and can establish residence in just about any solid housing material, including rigid foam insulation.

• Powderpost beetles: Though termites might have the most name recognition, according to LivingWithBugs.com, powderpost beetles are potentially more destructive to seasoned wood. Wood-boring powderpost beetles spend most of their lives as larvae (woodworms) in wood, where they tunnel in search of starch and other nutrients they need. They can cause all sorts of structural issues if they damage beams and other major components to homes.

• Carpenter bees: These large bees resemble bumblebees, except they have a shiny black abdomen instead of a furry one. Carpenter bees bore symmetrical holes in exposed wood, where they lay eggs and in which larvae grow. Although the bees’ holes are superficial and rarely cause much damage, birds in search of larvae for food, such as woodpeckers, may peck at wood containing the larvae and cause more significant damage.

 

This information was provided by MetroCreativeConnection.

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