Wood Boring Insect

Asked June 14, 2020, 6:02 PM EDT

Could you please identify this insect and tell me how to get rid of it? About two weeks ago, I noticed probably thousands of small holes in untreated wood cladding on a cabin. These small black insects were flying around and crawling in and out of the holes. Today we saw the larger one with a large extension on its abdomen. We're not sure if this is the juvenile and adult version of the same insect of two distinct species. In any case, they're feasting on the cladding of our cabin and two exterminators have failed to identify them. Could you please identify the insects and tell us what needs to be done to get rid of them? Thanks!

Montgomery County Maryland

2 Responses

These are two wasps species that are using the holes for nesting, but not making them. In fact,the one with the long "tail" is a predator whose appendage reaches in and kills the inhabitants of the holes. So he's a good guy.

There is more than one species of insect boring the holes, evidenced by the variety of hole sizes. We can't say for sure what they are. You may have to fill the holes, or mark them, and watch for new holes in order to catch the culprits.

At any rate, the holes should be filled and the wood sealed with paint, stain, or something comparable. You might want to treat with borates first.

Here is some information on home wood-boring insects that should help: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/old-house-borer


This is extremely helpful. Thank you so much!