Carpenter Ants and Carpenter Bees

Wood Destroying Insects

Wood Destroying Insects

 

Above, is a picture of a carpenter ant I took recently in Copper Harbor Michigan (about 40 miles from the Canadian boarder). While it is true that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan rarely sees termites, there are a few insects that can cause damage to wood framing, wood trim, sills and especially log constructed homes. In this case, the exterior logs had not been properly sealed. Water penetration became a haven for various fungus species that begin the decaying process and expose the wood to moisture. Carpenter ants and Carpenter bees both prefer moist, slightly rotted wood and find it easier to bore tunnels and chambers for their colonies. They also use the moisture contained in the interior of the wood chambers to help protect their exoskeletons.

Carpenter Ant Colony

Carpenter Ant Colony

 

Once the carpenter antsĀ  move in, the wood is hollowed out to form chambers inside.

 

evidence of Carpenter Ants

Frass

 

Other than seeing the ants actively moving about, evidence of infestation can be found from sawdust piles at points of entry and loose sawdust or “frass” as seen in the picture above. Though these ants do not feed on wood, they can cause enough damage to affect structural components and should be professionally removed by an exterminator. As a Licensed Home Inspector, I am trained to discover evidence of Wood Destroying Organisms and insects that are known to be a potential problem in upper Michigan. Most of our local home inspectors have no formal training, in this, or other aspects of home inspection.

Another potential damaging insect in upper Michigan is the Carpenter Bee. As with the Carpenter Ant, they also cause damage to wood by burrowing tunnels. These exit holes then become exposed to water and accelerate to rotting of the structural member.

 

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

 

Exit Holes from Carpenter Bees

Exit Holes from Carpenter Bees

1-800-935-9384

 

 



Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC
110 South Hecla Street
Laurium, MI 49913
Telephone: 906-231-0773
Email: info@upsbestinspector.com