Top Wood-Destroying Insects in Kansas City

carpenter bee on wood ledge | Advantage Termite and Pest Control

When you have pests or infestations of any kind, you probably have a big question on your mind: Can this pest damage my home?

 Many species of ants or spiders are relatively harmless to the structure of your home. However, a few pests in Kansas City can cause significant damage to your home by consuming, burrowing in, or otherwise destroying the wood of your home.

 Here’s what you need to know about the four most common wood-destroying insects you may encounter living in Kansas City:



Let’s start with the most obvious. When you think about wood-destroying insects, termites are likely the first that come to mind. Why? Termites are the most notorious wood destroyers and can significantly damage your home before you even realize you might have a problem worth calling a pest-control company over.

 Termites will eat anything made out of wood and do so very quickly and relatively quietly. These pesky insects make their way into the wood of your walls, floors, ceiling, and even furniture through mud tubes and stay burrowed inside the wood. Because of this, you are unlikely to catch termites by finding the actual insects crawling inside your home.


Signs of Termites in Your Home

Some signs you may have a termite infestation include:


  • Mud tubes
  • Termite wings near holes in wood
  • Bubbling, peeling, or otherwise damaged paint or wallpaper
  • Sticking windows and doors
  • Buckling wood
  • Termite droppings
  • The presence of actual live termites (likely of the subterranean variety)


Wood-Boring Beetles

Though less common than termites and often less well-known than carpenter ants and bees, wood-boring beetles are the second most dangerous wood-destroying pests in terms of the risk they present to your home. These pests often target structural wood, as well as decorative wood, and they work swiftly!

 Wood-boring beetles lay their eggs within the wood where they make their nest, and their offspring (woodworms), burrow their way out of the wood after they hatch. Because of their ability to multiply quickly, you definitely don’t want a wood-boring beetle to get comfortable in your home’s structure!


Signs of Wood-boring Beetles in Your Home

You may have a wood-boring beetle infestation if you see any of the following:


  • Sawdust near damaged wood
  • Round “exit holes” in your walls, ceiling, floors, etc.
  • White, powdery frass (sawdust/wood shavings and excrement)
  • Clumpy, yellowed frass (a sign of a prior infestation that has moved on)


You may also hear them gnawing through the wood, as they are louder than some other wood-destroying pests!


Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites and other wood-destroying pests. Instead, their goal is to burrow through the wood and create a nest inside, similar to wood-boring beetles. This makes them a bit easier to identify than other wood-destroying pests because they must send scouts to scavenge for food outside of the damaged wood they call home.

 As you try to identify carpenter ants, remember it’s easy to mistake them for common house ants. For this reason, homeowners need to know exactly how to identify carpenter ants.


Signs of Carpenter Ants in Your Home

  • Sawdust piles (frass)
  • Entry holes into the wood with frayed edges
  • The wall, wood beam, or panel appears to be disintegrating
  • Presence of large, winged ants


Carpenter bees may be a lesser evil, but you still don’t want them messing around with the wood of your home! The bees themselves are relatively harmless to humans and pets living in your home, being about as dangerous as a typical honey bee. They also look similar to a bumblebee but with a black, shiny abdomen. The similarities end there, however, as carpenter bees prefer a solitary life and love for wood.


Signs of Carpenter Bees in Your Home

The following may be signs of carpenter bee activity in your home:


  • A solitary bee buzzing near your home, especially near exposed wood
  • Small, perfectly round holes in the exterior of your home around 1-inch deep
  • Chewing or buzzing within the walls of your home


What to Do if You Think You Have a Wood-Destroying Pest

Although there are steps you can take to prevent and eliminate some pests in your home, wood-destroying insects are no DIY matter. If you see signs of any wood-destroying insects in your home, the best thing to do is contact a termite company immediately. A professional can determine what pest has invaded your home and the safest treatment to eliminate the issue.

If you’re looking for a termite company in Kansas City, you’ve come to the right place! Contact the Advantage team to get expert support with your pest control needs from our highly trained and experienced professionals.

Serving Kansas City Metro and Lawrence

Call 913.768.8989 to Get Your Free Estimate Today
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