Installing a new wood fence on your property is an investment in the value of your home. It improves your home’s curb appeal, and with proper care a good fence can last for years. However, your fence could be targeted by insects that damage wood fences and cause structural damage that will ruin the appearance of your fence. These insects could also shorten the useful life of your fence. Regardless of whether your fence is new or several years old, you should be aware of, and be on the lookout for, insects that damage wood fences.
Texas is known for its very humid climate, and that is what makes this area very attractive to termites. These pests love to eat wood and are not picky about what wood they eat, whether it’s your home’s infrastructure or your nice new fence. Most termites look very similar to white ants and have antennae and a straight body.
Termites form nests underground or sometimes within the wood itself. These colonies can spread rapidly if not caught early. An average colony of termites is capable of eating up to thirteen pounds of wood in one year. Some species of termites such as the Formosan subterranean termite are capable of eating more than that.
If your fence has been attacked by termites, you need to act quickly to prevent further damage. Any damaged wood should be replaced to prevent the spread of termites from eggs or larvae that might be present.
Wood-Boring Insects that Damage Wood Fences
Wood-boring beetles love humid climates. There are ten different types of wood-boring beetles that can make holes in your wood fence. Once these insects make their holes, they lay eggs inside them. After the eggs hatch, the beetle larvae will remain in the wood and feed on it until they are able to fly away. That could take a few months or even a few years.
These beetles like to make their nests in wood that hasn’t been painted or pressure treated. If you see little piles of sawdust on or against your fence, it’s a sign that it might have been invaded by wood-boring insects that damage fences and that it’s time to replace the affected area. You may also want to call a pest-control expert to prevent further damage to other areas of your fence.
Menacing Carpenter Ants
You can easily identify carpenter ants from other types of ants because of their size. They are usually around half an inch long and are brown or black. They are also more active at night, when they look for food.
Unlike termites and wood-boring beetles, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. They simply want to make their nests inside moist wood and will seek out wood that is rotting or damaged by water. Carpenter ants will burrow inside compromised areas of your fence and make tunnels that threaten its structural integrity.
If your fence has been infiltrated by carpenter ants, you need to replace the pieces that have been damaged. It’s a good idea to consult with a pest-control professional if the problem persists.
If you suspect that your property has a problem with insects that damage wood fences, it’s recommended that you contact a pest-control expert to prevent further damage. They can help protect both your fence and your home in case colonies spread.