You've invested a lot of time and money in your house. You may even get praise from your neighbors on such a fine home. One group of neighbors you'd rather not notice you are the wood-boring insects. They see your home as just another pile of wood to chew through. A regular inspection of your home for beetles and termites is the best way to protect you from the following hungry neighbors.

Wood-Boring Beetles

There are three types of beetles in this group. All love wood but each can do damage in different areas of the house. They will damage structural wood in your house as well as wooden furniture and decorations. The beetle larvae hatch from eggs laid in the wood. They then eat their way out, making tiny round holes. Some of these tenacious larvae will actually eat through plaster and plastic covering the wood. This group of beetles includes:

Powderpost beetles - As the larvae eat through your house, they leave behind a fine powder that consists of their waste and wood fragments. They favor hardwoods because of the pores in which they can lay their eggs. Hardwood also has a higher starch content than softwoods which is a favorite food source for the larvae. You'll most likely find this beetle in paneling, molding, wood flooring, window and door frames.

Deathwatch beetles - These insects prefer the softwoods in your house. As they eat through your home, they leave tiny pellets of waste and wood. They will be found in wood beams, foundation timbers, floor and wall joists and in some furniture. They will first look for wood that is partially decayed but will move onto other wood when that source is exhausted. One peculiar trait is that the adult beetles communicate with each other by tapping their heads against the wood. In a very quiet room infested with these beetles, you can hear the tapping sound.

False powderpost beetles - This beetle is at home in hardwoods and softwoods. As they chew up your home, they leave behind a course, gritty powder. They can be found in wood floors, furniture and paneling. Some of these beetles have been known to eat through metal.


Texas A & M University notes that termites are the cause of billions of dollars of damage every year to homes and property. They are a voracious eater of wood and discriminate little about the wood they infest. They can hollow out large pieces of wood, such as floor joist and roof rafters, causing serious structural problems in the home. A wood beam may look solid until you tap it or pierce it with a screwdriver to find out that it's hollow.

Identifying a termite infestation is the job of a local pest control company. There can be few signs of termites. Small raised areas on a wood surface can indicate the channels that have been eaten through the wood. Termites can cause serious damage before the typical homeowner notices anything.

The two types of termites most frequently seen in home include:

Subterranean termites - These insects eat the inside of wood structures which creates a honeycomb pattern on the exterior. They prefer the softer woods but will attack any wood structure.

Drywood termites - These insects form smaller colonies and damage your home more slowly. They will leave behind tiny hard pellets as they chew their way through hard and softwoods.

If you see any signs of wood damage in your house from these boring insects, contact a pest control service to thoroughly inspect your home. These insects can be quietly eating your home, unnoticed, causing you expensive repairs and making your home potentially unsafe to live in.