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 townhome, condo or co-op. They can also cost a small fortune to eradicate.
Wood You Rather
According to Scott Gosney, the owner of Advanced Pest Control in West Palm Beach, “There are several types of wood destroying pests, like subterranean termites—and there are several species of them in South Florida and throughout the Sunshine State. The most damaging and destructive is a species called the Formosan termite. There are also drywood termites, which are a completely different species, which live in the material they are eating, rather than in the ground. There are also powderpost beetles and powderpost termites, plus quite a few more—but they’re much rarer.”
Wood destroying insects often enter buildings searching for food, frequently hitching 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,” says Louis Taranto, the owner of Tonto Pest Control in Brooklyn, New York. “They are generally very secluded, spending most of their time inside the wood they’re invading.” The telltale signs of a 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.
Gosney adds, “Termites are active year round. They become evident at certain times of the year because they swarm. That’s when most people notice them, but they are always active. Some species swarm one a year, some twice.”