Wood-Boring Insects--Kind Unknown

Asked September 28, 2020, 8:00 PM EDT

Have just found holes in front porch pillars. With frass at base. Grey, segmented bug (like an armadillo) craweed out of one small hole. What are they (carpenter ants, old house borers, etc) & what can I do to kill them so they don't spread?

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

The gray, segmented bugs you saw were most likely pillbugs or sowbugs. They live in moist locations such as wood that is decaying. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/pillbugs-and-sowbugs

Carpenter ants also will nest in damp wood.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/carpenter-ants

The best solution to these insects would be to repair or replace the decaying wood. If you probe at the base of the pillar with a screwdriver, you will be able to determine the extent of the rot and whether just a portion or the entire pillar needs to be replaced.

Christa