Reference Guide For Insect Identification
Northwest Log Home Care
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- Powder-post refers to type of damage, not species. Name comes from feeding methods which produce very fine sawdust.
- Usually do not exist in older wood when starch content is under 3%
- Several holes (i.e. shotgun blast) may be apparent.
- Very seldom infest softwoods (pine or other needle-bearing trees)
- Most have 4 wings.
- Most beetles which cause damage are ¼inch in size or less.
- Seldom re-infest same nests.
- Holes vary in size and shape.
- Sawdust (frasse) does not contain insect parts.
- Males don't sting.
- Females may sting but only when handled.
- Makes the biggest holes (up to ½"), holes are perfectly round.
- May attack dry, seasoned wood.
- Prefer softwoods (pine, cedar, fir, redwood).
- Stuff holes with insecticide soaked cotton.
- May re-infest same nesting site for years.
- “Vibration" A sound may be heard in wood.
- Most wood damaging insect is subterranean termite (all states except Alaska).
- Often present but very seldom seen.
- Lighter colored than carpenter ants.
- 4 wings are of equal length, if present.
- Broad waist.
- Straight antennae.
- Can't be distinguish by color and size alone.
- Can be identified by one node and evenly rounded upper thorax.
- Will travel up to 100 yards for food.
- Sounds like '“crinkling cellophane" in wood.
- Bent antennae.
- Do not eat wood.
- Presence is not evident of infestation in wood.
- Will damage dry wood if moist wood is not available.
- Hind wings are shorter than front wings (if wings are evident).
- Non-carpenter ants have uneven thorax & do not infest wood.
- Sawdust (frasse) may contain dead ants.
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