A reader e-mailed in this question:
“Can Termites eat through concrete? I had a dark spot coming through my vynl floor and would I was having it patched there was a hole discovered in my concrete and the installer said it looked like it might be termites. Then as I looked up over my window I saw 3 small holes in my wall. So, now I am thinking the hole in the concrete is from termites.”
No – termites can’t eat through concrete.
This is an urban legend that has arisen because termites are often able to find tiny cracks in mortar or in the concrete itself and find a way through.
There are some home inspectors out there who actually believe this, so word of it spreads around.
This doesn’t mean that concrete slabs should go untreated, however. It’s often a good idea to have a “barrier treatment” done when a house is being constructed (basically liquid pesticide that will kill or repel any termites trying to get in). Termites could not eat a hole in your concrete, but they could still get past it or through it.
Here is another question
What are carpet beetles my friend was helping me do some cooking and opened up a container of curry powder and there were tiny insects inside. The date was good on the packaging, she said they can attack any dried foods, also clothing and dried flowers. Is this true and where do they come from?
They are probably not carpet beetles but the larvae of the good old Indian Meal Moth.
They are certainly found in all sorts of dry goods especially pastas, pet food, bird seed and so on. The larvae are the things which cause the damage. The adults are moths which tend to fly around the home. They have usually laid their eggs (up to 300) by the time you see the adults. The trick here is to kill the eggs before they develop; so, if possible keep your dry goods in sealed containers in the fridge or at least the coolest place possible.
Now, Carpet beetles are another story; there are many varieties with names like carpet beetle, larder beetle, leather beetle etc., They can cause a lot of damage not only to rugs and carpets but pretty much any natural material. They often feed on dead rodents. I come across them in attics, most often when something has died there.
Identification is the key. Send or bring a sample to our office
If you have or suspect you have any of these bugs don’t ignore them.