Drywall is used in homes, townhouses and apartments across the U.S. When drywall shows signs of damage, it is often due to insect infestations. Certain species of insects can damage drywall when making their nests or when gaining entry into homes. Most drywall is damaged by a few species of insects which are found in every state.
Carpenter ants are large, black ants that are often difficult to control. These ants live in colonies and often make their nests inside drywall and wood. Carpenter ants place their nests in hollow spaces that stay moist, such as around bathroom sinks, bathtubs and in walls behind kitchen appliances. If carpenter ant colonies are very large or they have been living in your walls for quite some time, the damage to your drywall and wood may be extensive. According to the University of Kentucky, damage to your home from carpenter ant infestations is typically less than the damage from termites.
Crickets usually make their presence known by chirping loudly. Homeowners may also find that crickets have damaged their drywall. Crickets do not carry diseases or bite humans, but they can become a nuisance for many homeowners. Indian house crickets measure 3/4 inches in length and are tan or light brown in color. According to the University of Arizona, Indian house crickets are the most common species of crickets found inside homes and also the most problematic. These crickets feed on drywall, fabric and pet food. Outdoors these crickets damage plants and flowers in the yard.
Termites are perhaps the most well-known pests that damage wood and drywall inside homes. Winged swarmers typically appear inside infested homes in the spring. Signs of termite infestations include termites emerging from drywall inside your home, finding mud tubes made by termites on foundation walls and termites emerging from porches. Termites may bore through drywall, and soil may be visible around emergence holes. These insects feed on the wood after gaining access to the internal walls, hiding behind insulation and drywall.
If your drywall has signs of insect damage, you must find the source. Carpenter ants are often present in large numbers, and to kill them you must locate their nest. Treat all walls and hidden areas where carpenter ants are found with boric acid, which is available at most garden supply stores. Manage crickets inside your home by sealing all windows and door jambs, putting all food away and keeping beneficial predators such as lizards and spiders outside your home. Insecticides are available for cricket control as well. If termites have damaged your drywall, the damage to the wood inside your walls may be severe. Hire a termite control specialist for advice on the best way to manage these damaging pests.