How to Get Rid of Wood Beetles – You’ve Just Discovered An Infestation
If you see tiny pinholes in your homes flooring, paneling, siding, furniture…any wooden objects within your home, do not ignore it. This is one of the main signs that you may have a wood beetle infestation. The pin holes indicate that wood beetle larvae are burrowing around inside the wood, consuming it and silently, gradually, turning the wood to powder. If the wood makes up a support beam, what ever it is supporting is going to eventually come down, whether it be a ceiling, a floor or a wall. (Image credits: Clemson.edu)
How to Get Rid of Wood Beetles – Their Destructive Power
Next to termites, wood beetles are the most destructive pests to all types of wooden structures and furniture. But whereas the main variety of termite in the Northeastern U.S., the subterranean termite, is mostly attracted to moist wood, the various species of wood beetles include both dry and moist wood eaters, in addition to hardwoods and softwoods. If it’s made of wood, there’s a wood beetle that will consume it and turn it into powder.
How to Get Rid of Wood Beetles – What Are They?
- Anobiid Wood Beetles: These prefer moist wood, and are attracted to both softwood (a buildings support timbers), and hardwood (furniture, flooring…etc.)
- Lyctid Wood Beetles: These prefer hardwoods, which would include paneling, flooring and furniture. They most often infest stored lumber that has not been properly kiln dried.
- Bostrichid Wood Beetles: These infest seasoned softwood and hardwood, especially unfinished floors, window sills, and furniture.
(Image Credits: Missouri.edu)
How to Get Rid of Wood Beetles – Focus On the Pin Holes
Having described and pictured the wood beetle varieties, the truth is you may never see one — even if you have a wood beetle infestation. This is because wood beetles do all the damage while hidden in the wood as larva, and only emerge for a short time as adults, and then, usually at night. The adults mate, lay eggs in the exposed pores of the wood, the eggs hatch, and the larvae bore into the wood where they may dine for as long as 12 years before emerging as adults to repeat the cycle.
For this reason, the only evidence you are likely to see, even of a huge wood beetle infestation, is the presence of tiny pinholes in the wood. You might also notice the fine powder they push out of the wood through the pin hole openings. This powder is referred to as “frass”. (Image Credits: UCDavis.edu)
How to Get Rid of Wood Beetles – Prevent Them From Entering Your Home In the First Place
Thoroughly inspect all wood you bring into your home. Look for the presence of pin holes. Suspects are furniture you bought at an antique store, imported wood flooring that was not properly kiln dried due to lack of regulations, lumber that has been stored outside, firewood brought into the home and left stacked by the fireplace for long periods of time (bring in only what you intend to burn that day).
When you purchase lumber, inquire as to the preparation of the lumber and the kiln drying process. As a rule, the temperature needs to be raised to about 150 degrees for 6 hours to ensure there are no living wood beetle larvae within the wood. (Image Credits: Missouri.edu)
How to Get Rid of Wood Beetles – What If You Notice Pin Holes?
The presence of pin holes in the wood indicates a wood beetle infestation. You won’t see damage immediately. But all the while you leave the problem untreated, the larvae are within the wood slowly turning it to powder. And, they’re spreading to other areas of your home. Remember, their life cycle can be as long as 12 years, during which time the integrity and value of your home is plummeting.
So, don’t leave the problem unattended. Begin by hiring a licensed professional wood beetle exterminator to inspect the damage and look for additional signs of infestation. You need an accurate assessment. Then, you need an effective strategy for dealing with the infestation. This may involve pesticide, fumigation or disposal and replacement of all infested wood–even if it means tearing out the wooden floor you recently installed and starting over. It’s much less costly in the long run to replace a floor than years later to deal with a whole house infestation. And, the official report of the pest control specialist may help you to get the project paid for by the company that originally manufactured and installed the infested wood.
How to Get Rid of Wood Beetles – Prevent, Inspect and Take Action
The presence of wood beetles in your home is a serious issue.