What is eating at my ceiling?

Asked September 4, 2019, 12:02 AM EDT

I found shavings of wood, that looks like some insect might be eating away at our kitchen ceiling. I've included a picture. The little shavings were caught in cob webs. This is our kitchen ceiling. The roof to the house is a metal roof. I don't know how much insulation is between the kitchen ceiling and the metal roof. Also I just started seeing chipmunks in our backyard and hope those are not the cause. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Washington County Oregon insect issues wood

1 Response

Hello:

It's a bit hard to tell from the image what this might be. I've had a couple questions this week that turned out to be ambrosia beetle damage - and they were in softwoods, which is strange for this beetle. Check out the images at https://bygl.osu.edu/index.php/node/1035 to see if they resemble what you are seeing.

You might need to call in a pest control company to take a closer look - hopefully they would have wood moisture meters with them as well to see if the ceiling is somehow getting wet; many wood-damaging insects (and fungi) require elevated moisture contents in wood before they can become active.

Scott