While termites and ants can look alike, there are other pests that can seem like termites but are not. Learning how to tell the difference between ants and termites is pretty easy once you know what to look for, but there are several other pests you may get confused with termites because of their behavior. It turns out that termites are not the only organisms that use wood as either their food source, a place to live, or both.
Carpenter Ants do not eat wood, but they will take advantage of rotting wood, weak wood or wood previously damaged by other wood destroying pests. They move in, hollow out the damaged wood and deposit the harvested wood shavings outside of the wood they are working on. Look for ants of many different sizes, trailing around a structure or shaved wood as evidence of their activity.
Carpenter Bees are similar to the Carpenter Ant in that they do not consume wood, but merely hollow out wood as a place to lay the larvae for future generations. These oversized, usually black to smoky grey bees, make pinky sized holes in wood. They tunnel in, creating the perfect place to lay their reproductive efforts.
Long Horned Beetles are most commonly associated with firewood. As the wood ages, beetle larvae that were laid in the wood prior to harvest begin their exodus out of the wood, emerging as beetles characterized by their antennae which are very long compared to their bodies. Their appearance varies, but usually they are black with white markings all over their shells. They will leave behind piles of wood dust as a result of their activity.
Powder Post Beetles is a general term for a whole family of beetles that will infest wood, leaving behind powdered wood and small holes through which the powder is ejected, which is often the only sign of their presence. They tend to be smallish beetles, brown in color with longitudinal lines on their wing covers. These beetles can re-infest wood, which makes them some of the most troublesome of wood destroying beetles.
These are just a few of the most commonly encountered wood destroying pests in Arizona. If you suspect that you have something munching on your house, call University Termite & Pest Control. We will get you expert advice that will start the process of putting your mind at ease.