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Insect Pests in Wood

- Certain insects damage wood -

Summary: Certain insect pests can cause extensive damage to homes, buildings and building materials. Regular pest inspections are the key to preventing or minimizing this damage. Structures in warm climates are far more likely to develop structural pest problems than those in cooler climates. Use the links below to find pictures, life history and least-toxic control information.

Jack DeAngelis, PhD
OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.)
carpenter ant (line drawing)

Carpenter ants are large black or red and black ants that nest in cavities constructed above ground. Nests may be constructed in walls, ceilings or subfloors.

lyctid powderpost beetle

Powderpost beetles are small, brown, cylindrical beetles whose larvae burrow inside wood. These larvae use starch packed inside wood cells as food.


worker termite

Subterranean termites and drywood termites are small to medium-sized, often pale and delicate insects. Termites live in highly organized colonies usually protected inside wood.

crawlspace inspection

Home inspections for wood-damaging insects are so important that you should hire someone if you don't want to do it yourself.

Other pests of wood

Dry Rot is caused by a fungus that destroys the strength and integrity of wood. The fungus is usually associated with high moisture.

Log Home Maintenance - Several wood destroying insects are especially common in log homes. Fortunately there are inexpensive things you can do to protect log homes.

Hardwood Flooring Damage - Powderpost beetles can cause significant damage to hardwood flooring.

Carpenter Bees are large, colorful bees that resemble bumble bees but bore tunnels into exterior structural and decorative wood.



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Mission: To provide accurate, up-to-date and unbiased information for solving common insect and mite problems around your home, business and landscape using least-toxic methods.

Jack DeAngelis, Ph.D.

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