Skip to Content

Termites Aren’t The Only Wood-Destroying Insects In Louisville

a carpenter bee on wood

The weather has warmed up and is causing termite swarmers to go out and start their own colonies. This is bad news, because more colonies means more termites and, subsequently, more termite damage. Termites may be the biggest wood-destroying threat, but there are other insects that damage wood. You should be on the lookout for carpenter ants and carpenter bees, as well.

It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between some of them, especially termites and carpenter ants. Here are some specific physical differences between carpenter ants, termites, and carpenters bees that you should be aware of:

  • Carpenter ant swarmers are black in color, with some boasting a combination of red and black coloring. They grow up to between 12.7mm and 15.8mm in length. They have pinched waists and bent antenna. Swarmers have two unequal sets of translucent, reddish-brown wings; one set is larger than the other.
  • Termites are dark brown to black in color. They grow up to 9.5mm in length, and have straight waists and antenna. Swarmers have two long, equal sets of translucent, smokey wings.
  • Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees. They grow up to one inch in length and are oval in shape.  Their coloring is yellow and black, but they have smooth, hairless abdomen.

All three of these insects damage wood in different ways. Carpenter ants usually invade soft, water-damaged wood, but they can chew through hardwood, as well. They find their way inside your home while foraging for food. Once inside, they chew through wood to build tunnels, galleries, and nests. They don’t actually eat the wood; instead, they excavate it, cleaning out the area and making it smooth. There will be sawdust piles beneath exit holes in the wood where they entered.

Termites seek out wood to eat, and - if they find themselves in close proximity to your house - they will go to work eating the wood inside it. Termites make mud tubes to get to and from their nest to the wood they've infested. They prefer soft, water-damaged wood, but can eat hardwood, too; the insides of this wood will become hollow. The work of termites is constant, and they spend most of their time inside the wood they find. The damage they do causes warped walls, sagging ceilings, uneven floors, and peeling wallpaper. The biggest problem with termites is that they can work silently and quickly, and that results in costly damage before you even know you have a problem.

Carpenter bees create nesting areas within wood by excavating through it and leaving sawdust beneath entry holes. They prefer soft, untreated wood that can sometimes be found in decks, sheds, eaves, shingles, furniture, and play structures. An additional problem with carpenter bees is that they possess a venomous sting, but they are not aggressive.

If you have found yourself dealing with wood-destroying insects that are causing damage to your home, you can call on Action Pest Control. Our experienced technicians will identify the pest, source, damage, and the threat that they pose. By enlisting our help, you will experience quality services and effective results. For more information about complete home pest control services, contact Action Pest Control today!