Whether interior or exterior, well-built, properly-maintained woodwork can last for centuries—but if wood-boring pests like beetles, termites, and carpenter ants find their way into the wood, they can wreak all kinds of havoc. Wood-destroying insects are more than a nuisance; they are dangerous and can cause significant, costly damage to the structure of a home, condo or co-op. They can also cost a small fortune to eradicate.
Wood You Rather
According to Andy Carace, the owner of Pest-End Exterminators in Plaistow, New Hampshire, “When technicians are inspecting they are looking for ants, termites; we are looking for different things, but most of the time you are looking for moisture. Quite often people see the ants in the kitchen and the problem is they have a sliding door leading out to a deck. What happens is the rain runs off the roof, hits the deck, and splashes onto the slider of the sliding door. They tend to stay moist, so it’s one of the big areas that might need to be replaced.
“At the front door,” he adds, “water will run off the roof and onto the top step and ants will go there. Trees touching the house are also a problem; ants will cross over from them and into your home, looking for food and moisture.”
Louis Taranto, owner of Tonto Pest Control in Brooklyn, New York, echoes Carace, adding that wood-destroying insects often enter buildings searching for food, but often hitch a ride inside wood products brought into the home.
And oftentimes, you don’t even see them until the damage is being done. “Wood-destroying insects will damage wood while feeding on it, or creating tunnels and nesting areas in it,” he says. “They are generally very secluded, spending most of their time inside the wood they are invading.” The telltale signs of wood pest infestation include tiny pinholes visible on wooden surfaces, or even little piles of sawdust collecting under a wooden frame, art object, or piece of furniture—the debris left over from the critters’ chewing and tunneling.