Wood Destroying Insects
While termites are typically the most destructive of all wood-destroying insects, many people call us about sawdust or frass residues. It may be falling from the ceiling, piling up along baseboards, or sifting out of windows sills.
Termites eat wood, therefore they never create sawdust or frass. While there are different species of termites in the U.S., the subterranean termite is the only species native to the midwestern states. As this termite lives underground, they carry soil particles up into the wood where they are feeding to increase moisture content. They also build mud tubes to bridge the gaps from the soil to the wood. This protects them from UV light and predators. Insects that do commonly create sawdust and frass are ants. While carpenter ants are notoriously the most destructive, many species will create frass and sawdust piles. Another point of confusion is that both termites and ants both produce reproductive swarmers, typically in the spring. There are significant visible differences in the wings, antenna and body segmentation.
Powder post beetles are the tiny beetles responsible for pinholes that occur in the wood of structures. When active in the wood, they create galleries as they eat away at the cellulose tissues. They digest the starches in the wood and excrete the undigestible cellulose fibers as a fine powder. This powder is often mistaken for termite activity. While different species of powder post beetles have specific preferences for hardwoods or softwoods, they typically all require elevated moisture content in the wood. Dehumidification and increased airflow in infested areas will naturally help prevent future infestations. Treatment approaches vary for control of these structural damaging pests. As expected, there are pros and cons to any treatment methods. Give the professionals at Buckeye Exterminating a call to correctly identify the problem and discuss your best treatment options.