Wood-Destroying Pests How to Protect Your Property

Whether interior or exterior, well-built, properly-maintained woodwork can last for centuries but if wood-boring pests like beetles, termites, and carpenter ants find their way into the wood, they can wreak all kinds of havoc. Wood-destroying insects are more than a nuisance; they are dangerous and can cause significant, costly damage to the structure of a townhome, condo or co-op. They can also cost a small fortune to eradicate.

Wood You Rather

Even with its abundance of concrete and steel-beam construction, Chicagoland condos—particularly more suburban ones—can still fall prey to wood-chewing pests attacking elements like decks, door frames, and railings. 

“Ants are the most common pests, both inside and outside,” says Vito Brancato, general manager of ABC Humane Wildlife, Control & Prevention in Arlington Heights. “They can be a year-round problem, and pick up in the summertime. Mostly they are just a nuisance, but carpenter ants can find areas of moisture and feed on wood that’s easy for them to consume.” 

According to the University of Illinois Extension office, carpenter ants are drawn to indoor and outdoor areas with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms, basements, laundry areas, sweating or leaking pipes and crawl spaces. Outdoors, they can be found in the rotting wood of tree stumps and roots, and in moist areas under roof shingles, gutters, window sills, near chimneys, firewood, in untreated wood products or in the soil. 

Jeff Dworkin, president of Ecology Exterminating Service Corp. in Brooklyn, New York has been helping remove wood insects from urban and suburban condos and co-ops for more than 40 years. He consistently deals with termites and beetles that sneak in through furniture and floors. Dworkin says these beetles come in through antique furniture from overseas (particularly South America and Africa), bed-frames, desks and nightstands. 

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