There are 4 main types of wood destroying insects in Florida:
Powderpost & Ambrosia Beetles
Powderpost beetles are right behind termites when it comes to their ability to destroy wood. They are small beetles, measuring only 1/8-3/4 inch long. They get their name from what they leave behind when they burrow tunnels through wood. They turn the wood into a flour-like powder.
They only go after unfinished wood, wood that is finished, stained, waxed or painted are immune from these beetles.
Bark and Ambrosia beetles bore holes into dying or dead trees. While these doesn’t exactly affect homes directly, they can contribute to major diseases in trees, causing a disruption to ecosystems and the loss of valuable wood and tree products.
They might seem harmless but carpenter bees can cause some issues in homes. They are solitary insects, but may have
nests close to one another. Nests are composed of one female bee that lays eggs. The nest hole openings are only 5/8th of an inch so they can be hard to see – but a clue you might have an issue is if you hear a buzzing sound. Heavy or repeated infestations can weaken structural timbers and severely damage siding on buildings. Decay and breakage will ultimately follow an untreated incursion.
While the damage caused by carpenter bees can be quite expensive, they also can attract Woodpeckers, which eat carpenter bee larvae at every opportunity.
There are many types of termites in Florida. They are divided into several categories:
Some of these termite species are localized to certain parts of the states, concentrating in south Florida due to the climate in the area and others around the entire state.
The University of Florida IFAS has a wealth of information on the types of termites and what they do, how destructive they are, and where they are located. If you are trying to figure out what termite you have, this is an excellent starting point.
Don’t mistake carpenter ants for termites, they are very different. However, the way each of them destroys wood is still bad for your home. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood like termites do, instead they just burrow and make their nests inside of it. But this can still cause major issues for the wood in your home. You can learn a little more about carpenter ants in Florida.