Pests and Your Wood Deck: A Quick Guide
To homeowners decks are a wonderful place to gather with friends and family to celebrate special occasions. To pests – many of which have already returned for the summer – they are simply homebuilding materials or perhaps homes in and of themselves. Keeping pests such as carpenter bees and ants, termites and powderpost beetles at bay can pose a challenge for homeowners who are not equipped to recognize and prevent their spread. Here are some tips on identifying and preventing various pests from ruining your special gathering place.
Carpenter bees: These bees – which have a hard exoskeleton and an affinity for wood - chew through wood and can cause significant damage to your deck. However, it is important to know that these bees are more attracted to certain types of woods. They prefer unfinished, softer wood such as pine which is a common decking material. Protect your deck by varnishing or painting it before carpenter bees establish a foothold there. Pressure treated wood also resists many kinds of insects.
Termites: Also called “white ants,” termites are a major concern even among homeowners who don’t have a wood deck. They burrow through wood leaving small tunnels behind them that can eventually harm your deck or any wood structure. Buying a deck whose wood has been pressure treated is a good preventative measure to stop infestation. As custom deck builder in NJ we have pressure treated wood that can resist many kinds of pests.
Mice and Rats: These rodents are well known for their affinity for burrowing through all kinds of material and can also carry and spread disease. Their presence can be detected by their droppings. If you suspect they are living underneath your deck call an exterminator before it is too late.
Other pests that can damage your wood deck include raccoons, opossums, skunks and powderpost beetles. In general, once the presence of any of these pests is detected, follow these tips: 1) have your deck sealed and coated. We are deck contractors in NJ who can help you fortify your deck. 2) Remove standing water from around your deck, 3) Buy pest proof garbage can lids to discourage raccoons, 3) Use bug lights and/or insect traps. In short, keeping pests at bay can be a challenge but it is achievable. Protecting your deck from these pests also protects your home and family. The investment you make in learning about these pests will pay off in a deck that will last for years and that will provide many hours of entertainment and comfort.