Termites feed upon materials that contain cellulose such as wood. They are one of the only invertebrate groups that can feed upon, digest and receive nutrition from cellulose. Termites rely on enzymes (cellulases) in their gut to digest cellulose to extract the sugar content. Recent research has shown that the protozoa and bacteria harbored in the termite hindgut are primarily involved in anaerobic respiration and nitrogen fixation rather than cellulose digestion. Termites excavate galleries throughout their food as they consume it. They conceal their workings and can completely honeycomb wood by feeding along the grain and following the softer springwood, leaving little more than a very thin layer of surface wood.
Powderpost Beetles. Homeowners and the WDI inspector are much more likely to see evidence of wood damage than the beetle themselves. The most common signs of powderpost beetles are small exit holes on the wood surface and powdery frass (solid excrement of insect larvae when feeding in wood) sifting from the holes. In fact, the particular type of beetle can be identified based on its characteristic damage to wood.
Carpenter bees attack structural timbers and other wood products, including fence post, utility poles, firewood, arbors and lawn furniture. In buildings, carpenter bees nest in bare wood near roof eaves and gables, fascia boards, porch ceilings, decks, railings, siding, shingles, shutters and other weathered wood. These bees avoid wood that is well painted or covered with bark. Carpenter bee infestation lasting several years can result in extensive damage to wood.
Carpenter ants are so-named because they excavate galleries in wood to create nest sites. They use their strong jaws (mandibles) to remove quantities of wood as they expand the size of their nest. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood. Carpenter ants chew wood with and across the grain, creating irregular, clean galleries. The borings consist of wood shavings that resemble pencil sharpener shavings that can be found beneath special openings (windows) or nest openings.
Wood-Destroying Insect Inspections
Ohio License #129913
In Ohio, the wood-destroying insects that must be reported on the NPMA-33 inspection form are: termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and re-infesting wood-boring beetles.