6 Bugs That Eat Wood (With Pictures)

Are you looking for bugs that eat wood, then, we have here 6 bugs that eat wood. You’ve found the perfect place if you’ve got some itty-bitty wood bugs in your house and you want to learn how to tell them apart using photographs of wood-destroying insects.

Keep reading to learn more about these 6 bugs that eat wood and see pictures of several species.


Insects That Eat Wood Are Called What?

Before we get to 6 bugs that eat wood, let us know a little about these bugs that eat wood.

The term “xylophage” is used to describe animals that eat wood. The majority of animals that eat wood also eat a variety of other vegetation.

Insects that feed primarily on wood have a specific sort of microbiota in their digestive system that helps them digest cellulose, like that with herbivorous mammals.


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Why do these insects consume wood?

The digestion of plant items by mammals is particularly difficult, since breaking down cellulose involves a symbiotic connection with intestinal bacteria and external fungi.

Wood-eating insects are equipped with a unique microbiota that allows them to harvest carbon from wood. Digestion of wood produces huge levels of acetate that should technically cause damage to these animals.

According to other research, however, this acetate is never discovered in feces. Instead, it undergoes a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide, which is then released into the hemolymph and eventually exhaled.

Now that you have gotten to know why these insects consume wood, let us look at 6 bugs that eat wood.


 Insects That Eat Wood

So, which insects consume wood? Below are 6 bugs that eat wood. The most common wood-eating insects and their distinguishing features are described below.

Read on to find out the 6 bugs that eat wood that could be responsible for your wood borer infestation.


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1. Termites

6 Bugs That Eat Wood

The first 6 insects that eat wood on our list are termites. Blattodea is the order that contains termites. These insects look and behave like ants, although they are more closely related to cockroaches.

More than 3,000 distinct species of termites have been identified.

Humans are terrified of termites because they often inhabit wooden structures and destroy them entirely if an effective pest control measure has not been taken.

There are termite species that prefer wet wood, others that prefer dry wood, and still others that prefer the ground, where they construct enormous mounds before emerging to forage for wood.


2. Carpenter Ants & Bees

6 Bugs That Eat Wood

The second 6 insects that eat wood are Carpenter ants and bees, unlike many wood-destroying insects, which don’t feed only on wood.

Instead, these bugs receive their names because they seek out weaker or rotting wood, insulating materials, hollow-core doors, and crevices between walls to burrow into wood and construct nests.

Once the nest is built, carpenter ants induce wood decay, increasing the infestation’s development.

Their need for decaying or damp wood means these pests can often be found in bathrooms, under sinks, or nearby dishwashers.

Carpenter ants feed on decaying wood and other small organic debris, so inspectors look for a combination of dead insects and wood shavings at window sills or the tops of foundations to pinpoint the exact location of a nest.

Carpenter ants can also construct satellite nests apart from their main, parent colony in generally dry property areas.

This means that, if you feel you might have a carpenter ant problem, it’s advisable to contact your local AmeriSpec wood-destroying organism inspector to analyze the matter properly.

Even if you take precautions against carpenter ants and bee infestations by repairing water leaks and eliminating sources of standing water around your home, you should still watch out for these indicators.

Carpenter bugs, despite appearances, can be heard making rustling noises from nesting sites inside walls, doors, and even window sills.

Carpenter ants also have and shed wings, therefore discovering cast-off wings can be an indication of a possible infestation.


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3. The Powderpost Beetle damage

The Powderpost Beetle Damage

The powderpost beetle is a serious threat to dwellings because it reduces the wood it eats to a fine powder. Potential buyers or current owners of an older home may want to be wary of powderpost beetle infestations.

Hardwoods like oak and walnut, as well as softwoods like pine, are all vulnerable to attack from these pests. They can cause long-term damage if they find a way inside your home.

Powderpost beetles lay their eggs in tiny cracks in wood between May and August. After hatching, beetles feed on wood and construct destructive tunnels.

Some wood-destroying inspectors refer to the small holes left behind by adults as “shot holes” after they have tunneled their way out of the wood.

The powdery sawdust left behind by wood-boring beetles is a telltale sign of structural damage that inspectors check for in all areas of the property with wood.

Sometimes referred to as “frass”, this mixture of beetle droppings and wood particles might educate a trained wood-destroying organism inspector about beetle species and their presence.


4. Woodworm


Several different kinds of beetles and worms feed only on wood. Termites and other pests in the family Anobiidae include woodworms. The presence of this wood-eating beetle can be confirmed by the presence of tiny, shallow holes in wooden objects.

Adult woodworms bore these tunnels, and females deposit their eggs in crevices. When these hatches, they eat their way through the wood, going through a series of transformations until emerging as new creatures.


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5. Bark Beetles and wood Borers

Bark Beetles

Bark beetles and wood borers are widespread in trees that have been damaged, and they consume the tissue that lies between the bark and the wood.

While these insects rarely weaken trees to the point where they become an issue, they can nevertheless do a lot of damage to log homes and wooden furnishings.

When it’s chilly outside, bark beetles tend to hibernate, but when the weather warms up again, they fly directly into any nearby windows, making them immediately noticeable.

While wood borers prefer to inhabit freshly felled trees. This means that even finished boards used in construction can harbor wood-boring insects.

However, wood borers are typically eliminated during the kiln drying process. Homeowners can rest comfortably knowing that wood borers cannot re-infest treated lumber because of the escape holes they leave behind.

However, adult wood-boring beetles can enter a dwelling if firewood is used in the fireplace.

When the AmeriSpec wood-destroying organism inspection is complete, you will receive a thorough report confirming the presence or absence of wood-eating organisms and whether or not your property is at risk for an infestation in the near future.

Damage from wood-eating insects is a real concern, and some mortgage companies even demand proof of a clean report before lending money.

A wood-destroying organism inspection may be required if you are applying for a loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)(opens in a new window) or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs(opens in a new window).

However, you can rely on the local AmeriSpec inspectors to assist find any issues and provide solutions to keep your house safe for years to come.


6. Horntails


Siricidae is a family of insects that includes horntails, or wood wasps. One thing that all of the roughly 150 species of wood wasps have in common is that their larvae are wood eaters.

Female wood wasps will lay their eggs in crevices or holes in the wood of trees. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the wood while simultaneously building tunnels to migrate.

For their digestion to take place, they need the presence of a fungus with which they create a symbiotic relationship

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