Identifying Wood-Destroying Insects

Wood-destroying insects can pose a significant threat to structural integrity and property. Infestations can cause damage and compromise the safety of a building. Homeowners and building professionals must be able to identify wood-destroying insects and take appropriate measures to prevent and control them.

Wood-boring bee traps work great for safely catching these insects and releasing them back into the wilderness where they belong. Removing carpenter bees is critical, especially when an infestation is present. Carpenter bees and other wood-destroying insects can cause significant structural and financial damage left untreated.

Let’s keep reading to discover how carpenter bee traps work and identify wood-destroying bugs and insects.

How to Identify Wood-Destroying Insects

Identifying wood-destroying insects isn’t hard when you know what to look for. Each insect leaves tell-tale signs of their handiwork by drill and bore marks to the discolorization of the stains and their shavings and droppings. Wood-boring bee traps available at BeesNThings are economical and a great way to remove carpenter bees.

Here are a few ways to identify these pesky little insects:


termitesTermites are one of the most common wood-destroying insects. They are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on cellulose, commonly found in wood. 

Signs of a termite infestation can include:

  • Damaged Wood: Look for hollowed-out wood, soft spots, and mud tubes.
  • Frass: Termites leave behind a powdery residue, known as frass, in their tunnels.
  • Swarmers: In the springtime, mature termites often leave the colony searching for a new food source. These termites are winged and resemble swarming ants.

Carpenter Ants

carpenter antsCarpenter ants are another common wood-destroying insect. They create tunnels and galleries within wood, making it difficult to detect their presence. 

Signs of a carpenter ant infestation can include:

  • Wood Damage: Look for sawdust-like shavings, damaged wood, and holes in wood structures.
  • Swarmers: In the spring, mature carpenter ants leave the colony looking for a new nesting site. These ants are winged and resemble flying ants.

Powderpost Beetles

powder post beetlesPowderpost beetles are tiny, wood-boring insects that lay eggs in wood, which later hatch into larvae. 

Signs of a powderpost beetle infestation can include:

  • Damaged Wood: Look for small, round holes in wood, often with powdery residue near the affected area.
  • Swarmers: In the springtime, mature powderpost beetles leave the colony searching for a new food source. These beetles are wingless and resemble small, flying insects.

Wood Boring Beetles

wood boring beetlesWood boring beetles, such as carpenter and Longhorn Beetles, are wood-destroying insects that feed on wood. 

Signs of a wood-boring beetle infestation include:

  • Damaged Wood: Look for frass, holes in wood, and wood dust.
  • Swarmers: In the springtime, mature wood boring beetles leave the colony looking for a new nesting site. These beetles are winged and resemble swarming moths.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood TermitesDampwood termites are less common than other termite species but live in certain regions. They are attracted to damp, decaying wood and often target wood that is high in moisture content. 

Signs of a damp wood termite infestation can include:

  • Damaged Wood: Look for wood that sounds hollow when tapped, softwood, and the presence of mud tubes.
  • Swarmers: In the springtime, mature damp wood termites leave the colony looking for a new place to nest. These termites are winged and resemble swarming ants.

Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee damageCarpenter bees are known for drilling holes and making tunnels to lay their eggs. They love softwoods and framing timbers. 

Signs of a carpenter bee infestation can include:

  • Damaged Wood: Look for holes and shavings on the ground and signs of more than one hole.
  • Swarmers: Carpenter bees are busy little workers, making their queen happy. Therefore, several carpenter bees will be in and out of the holes.

Prevention is critical to avoiding wood-destroying insect infestations. 

Here are some measures you can take to protect your home:

  • Regular Inspections: Inspect your home, especially areas made of wood, for any signs of damage.
  • Seal Cracks: Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls to prevent insects from entering.
  • Maintain Moisture Control: Keep wood structures dry and free from moisture because damp conditions are attractive to wood-destroying insects.
  • Treat Lumber: Use treated lumber when constructing new wooden structures or replace any damaged wood promptly.
  • Use Repellents: Apply repellents to vulnerable wood surfaces to discourage wood-destroying insects.

If you suspect a wood-destroying insect infestation, it is critical to seek professional help to identify and treat your infestation appropriately. Professional exterminators have specialized tools and treatments that effectively control and remove wood-destroying insects.

How Do Carpenter Bee Traps Work?

Carpenter bees are solitary bees that burrow into wood to create their nests. These bees can cause significant damage to wooden structures, including houses, decks, and fences. One effective way to control carpenter bees is by using carpenter bee traps. Carpenter bee traps attract and capture carpenter bees without harming them. 

These traps typically consist of a chamber or container filled with a lure that attracts carpenter bees, such as fermented bait or synthetic pheromones. The traps get placed near carpenter bee activity areas or areas where damage has occurred.

Fermented bait is a common lure used in carpenter bee traps. It’s a mixture of sugary substances like honey, water, and yeast. The bait ferments over time, creating a pungent smell that attracts carpenter bees. When carpenter bees smell the fermented bait, they enter the trap.

Once inside the trap, carpenter bees encounter a one-way door or funnel they can't exit through. The bees become trapped inside the trap and eventually die of dehydration or starvation. The best online bee traps at BeesNThings can then be collected and relocated. Call or contact us for help purchasing carpenter bee traps.