4 Common Insects That Damage Wood

Wood destroying insects may be small in size and look harmless but left untreated can cause more serious damage to your homes structure and your furnishings than other forces of nature. Want to know the 4 Common Insects That Damage Wood?

It’s crucial that you manage wood-destroying insects efficiently with regular home pest control in wherever you may reside. Some signs to look out for holes in timber, weak or damaged floor boards, bore dust, crumbling wood and unusual sounds. Here are some common types of pests you should be aware of, this will give you a better understand of how you can effectively eliminate them.

1. Powderpost Beetles

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Powderpost Beetle

These small insects are commonly found in Australia they can cause a major catastrophe on your hardwood such as Oak, Eucalyptus, Ash, African Mahogany and Elm. These little beetles are between 4 – 7mm in length and a brown/red in colour. You will know when there’s an infestation of powderpost beetles in your home if you see fine sawdust in piles around your wooden furniture and timber crumbling . The presence of tiny holes in your wood is also another sign to watch out for.

The following are furnishings made from hardwood that are commonly infested by a powderpost beetles:

  • Moulding
  • Vintage furniture
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Doors and doorframes
  • Floors

How to prevent infestation:

Most homes infested by this pest because of an already “infected” piece of wood used during the construction as they can infest timber yards. When this happens, you’ll need a pest control professional to prevent the infestation. Let a pest controller do an inspection to ensure that beetle eggs aren’t hatching anywhere in your wood.

2. Carpenter Ants and Bees

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Carpenter Bee

Carpenter ants are a large ant species between 3 – 12mm in length and are dark brown to black in colour. Carpenter ants are more of a nuisance than destroyers, unless left untreated. With their strong jaws they are able to hollow out solid woods like pine and fir to create nests. They tend to burrow into decayed or damp wood to create their colonies, which make their presence a warning sign for water leaks.

You can find carpenter bees anywhere, and like the carpenter ants, they delve into the wood to form a tunnel to lay their eggs, which in most cases the damage is more superficial than structural. They do, however, prefer unfinished wood over timber with a paint or finish. Signs of carpenter bees infestation will include:

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Carpenter Ants

  • Wood shavings and faecal matter known as “frass”
  • Round holes of 2.5 to 5 cm diameter in wood
  • Piles of sawdust around entry points

How to prevent infestation:

Cut back branches and perform regular rubbish removal to dispose of materials that help carpenter ants and bees from making their nests and having your property regularly checked for signs of damage. For every pest problem, especially with carpenter bees, it’s best to contact a professional to handle it to avoid getting stung.

3. Termites

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Termites

Termites are the most well-known destroyer of wood. With over 300 species but with only a handful of them you need to be concerned about around your property. Termites can cause over a million dollars of damage each year if not prevented correctly. There are 3 main termites you need to know, Drywood termites which infest soft and hard wood, Dampwood termites love moist or decaying wood and the Subterranean termite which are commonly the culprit for damage of your property. These termites need moisture for survival and prefer wood that has started to decay.

Compared to other types of pests, termites are much harder to detect. And often, when you do discover them, it’s already too late because they have already infested your home by then.

How to prevent infestation:

Having a termite monitoring system or a soil chemical barrier put in place is your best chance at keeping these wood destroyers at bay.  If you discover termites in your home, you should contact an exterminator immediately. If you see the presence of termites early, to prevent the problem from getting worse, start by making a barrier outside your house between the wood foundation and dirt.

4. Wood Wasps

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Wood Wasps

Wood wasps are annoying but are no harm to humans as they cannot sting. Wasps are between 20 – 40mm in length. They tend to infest pine plantations laying their eggs in damaged trees and introduce fungus that can weaken the timber. They do no not cause structural damage to your property, but these pests can still enter your home through the finished timber. The damage caused by wood wasps are on the surface, which results from creating exit holes in the timber.

How to prevent infestation:

These pests are enticed to untreated wood. Removing any dead trees from your yard is the best method to control these pests is by removing any fallen or dead trees in your yard and processing timber quickly before they have a chance to settle in.

Given the disastrous damage these pests can have around your home prevention is your best option. Seeking the help of a profession to treat your property to prevent an infestation or if you see signs of any of these insects the earlier you get it treated the less chance of damage being done.

Hiring pest control will insure the job is done properly and safely and in the end possibly saving you thousands in the long run. Call Jim’s Termite & Pest Control on 131 546 or Request A Free Quote now!

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