There may be no word that gives homeowners nightmares quite like the word “termites.” Termites are notorious for causing extensive damage to homes by eating away at the very structure that holds them up. A termite problem can be disastrous and cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to repair, so people are quite right to fear them. However, termites are not the only pests that can be bad for your home. In fact, quite a few other types are also notorious for damaging wood, though they are less known for doing so. Here are four types of pests other than termites that can and do damage homes by destroying the wood that holds them together.
Mice have been known to cause a ton of damage to the wood in your home for a variety of reasons. For starters, their notoriously long front teeth never actually stop growing. In order to keep them manageable, they need to regularly chew on something solid in order to wear their teeth down. When they live in your walls, they are surrounded by soft and supple wood that makes great shredding material. They have also been known to gnaw open larger gaps and holes that they can travel through in order to open up more efficient and easier routes to things like food or warmth.
Their damage isn’t always from chewing, either. Mice urine and feces cause strong odors in your home, and urine can stain wood with bacteria. Excessive amounts of urine can also cause mold growth that can create health risks. These are other ways in which mice can be a particularly frustrating pest problem, and why you should have them taken care of immediately.
Rats are problems for wood in all of the same way mice are. They too have long front teeth that they need to constantly wear down, and they do so by chewing. However, because of their larger size, rats tend to do far more extensive damage than mice do. Their larger claws can tear apart softer woods used in home construction, and they often have to create much bigger openings to fit their larger bodies through. And finally, they also have an affinity for shredding things other than wood in your walls. For example, rats have been known to chew on electrical wires, and doing so creates gaps that can cause shorts and spark fires or create heat damage inside your walls. Understandably, this is probably one of the last things you want to deal with.
Carpenter ants are one of the largest and most prominent species of home-invading ants, and get their name from their affinity for wood. Carpenter ants often seek out water-damaged, decaying wood to create their nests and build their colonies. Plumbing leaks in your walls create water-damaged wood, and this brings these tiny ants marching inside. Once inside, they tear apart the water-damaged wood in your walls and begin spreading throughout the area. They can do this for weeks, months, or even years before you ever realize they’re there.
Wood-boring beetles are the most prolific wood-destroying insects, second only to termites. Female wood-boring beetles seek out unprocessed, unseasoned wood to lay their eggs on. In many cases, this includes untreated or older wood used to construct homes. When the larvae in these eggs hatch, they burrow into the wood the egg was laid on, feeding on the wood and creating a tunnel that they use for protection. Once they reach adulthood, they emerge and swarm, causing females to lay more eggs and the process starts all over. Wood boring beetles are significantly larger than termites, and that means the damage a single beetle can cause is drastically more serious than that of a termite. While their numbers may be smaller, this is not a problem you should ignore by any means.
Have a problem with any of these wood-destroying pests? Get help right away from Hopper Termite & Pest by calling (479) 332-3745 today.