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Wood Destroyers

Wood Destroyers

Common Wood Destroying Insects



Flatheaded Borers

Longhorn Beetles

Powderpost Beetles

Wood-boring Weevils


Carpenter Ants


Major destroyers of wood and wood product materials. Normally associated with buildings, but can also infest wood that has been stored for some time. There are three basic kinds of termites: Subterranean, Dampwood, Drywood.


[social insects, winged reproductive with both wings same size and membranous; straight or curved antennae consists of beadlike segments; abdomen broadly joined to thorax; no cerci; chewing mouthparts]

Termites are sometimes called “white ants” because they are ant-like in form. Termites differ in antenna form and having a broad waist.

Subterranean termite colonies live in the soil from which they construct exploratory tubes in search of wood.

Termite Swarming is usually the first evidence of an infestation noticed by most people.

Drywood Termites

Can live in dry, sound wood
Usually tropical and subtropical
Kick out characteristic fecal pellets

Wood-boring Beetle Management
  • Detect early! (regularly inspect – powder)
  • Keep lumber at less than 18% moisture
  • Keep lumber off of moist floors or ground
  • Resaw to remove sapwood
  • Don’t purchase infested lumber & destroy lumber that becomes infested
  • Fumigate high cost lumber (professionals only!)
Carpenter Ant Damage
  • Carpenter ants need water
  • Usually build nests in damp or partially rotted wood, but can extend their nests into sound wood
  • Keep lumber dry and properly stacked.

Powder Post Beetles

The main sign of powderpost beetles is powdery sawdust. Powderpost beetles turn wood to dust!

Lyctid powderpost beetles

Attack sapwood
Attack hardwoods only, rarely maple
Require 8% to 32% moisture

Anobiid powderpost beetles

Prefer old woods, 10-20 years old!
Attack hardwoods and softwoods including maple
Require 13% to 30% moisture