Is the termite stronger than the beetle?
It is very common to find more than one wood destroying organism at a time in a crawl space in the Pacific NW. Conditions that are conducive to Dampwood Termites for example will likely also be conducive to Anobiid Beetles, and even Wood Decay Rot. This post is about how difficult it can be to the untrained eye to see these conditions. The first example is of Anobiid Beetle Damage. The picture shows wood that looks fairly normal except for the tiny little beetle exit holes on the surface. Hidden below the surface, the interior of the wood can be almost totally eaten away—leaving nothing but the “frass” from the Beetle’s activity.
The next picture shows the same stud and what it looked like inside after merely twisting it apart with my hand—obviously no longer structurally sound.
The next picture is of Dampwood Termite damage. The floor joist has a “crushed” appearance where it crosses the sill plate. Notice how the bottom of the joist is a full 3/4″ below the top of the sill plate.
Both of these insects can cause extensive damage to the structure but the tiny beetles can easily decimate a structure while the Dampwood Termite will tend to do more localized damage.
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