Small and fresh conical piles of sawdust in your home? Oh yes dear reader! You are probably having issues with some uninvited guests. Today we have decided to base our article on tiny insects that may cause such damage to your home’s furniture pieces or even floors; we would like to help you identifying them and moreover, give you some solutions you can consider to keep them away from your cherished nest. There is a variety of insects that can damage those pieces of furniture that give your home the look you have always wanted; some of them come to your home to eat wood while others destroy it when they burrow into the wood, leaving small holes or sawdust on the wood’s surface which is one of the first features that will indicate you your wooden structures are being damaged by insects. However, there are some cases where damages are not visible to the naked eye, this is why it is always good idea inspecting those wood areas at home so you can detect the problem in its early stage…better safe than sorry.
Top 3 Worst Wood Enemies
Wood enemies attack its structures, damaging almost any wood product among the possible target these tiny creatures may have there are; wooden pallets, shipping carts, firewood, household items such as picture frames, bamboo products, wicker baskets or furniture and even broom handles. So as you can read, there are important spaces and items in your home you should protect from these insects, that can cause serious damage to your structures and therefore, you will need to invest more time and money in repairing them. The following are 3 of the worst wood enemies we have selected for you to be aware of them.
Being the largest group of animals (having about 400,000 species in 500 families), beetles have the basic insect anatomy of head, thorax and abdomen. Most of these beetles are found in homes, they do infest both hardwoods and softwoods. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feeds on the wood, chews a tunnel to the surface over the course of one to five years, this is basically the damage that powderpost beetles cause on your wooden pieces. Powderpost prefer wood in cool locations with considerable moisture levels.
Where can you find the damages caused by these types of beetle? They are often found in floors, planks, paneling, door furniture and molding.
This is a well-known species in Europe; the source of the name is Xestobium rufovillosum. They have given that name because of their habit of tapping on wood to attract a mate. Deathwatch beetles generally infest moist and partly decayed softwood timber. The beetle larvae fill their tunnels with powder that has a slightly gritty texture, just with less coarse that false powderpost beetles. The exit holes are larger than powerpost beetle holes, however the sizes can vary.
Where can you find them? They are more likely to be found in damp buildings or areas with poor drainage or water leaks.
False powderpost beetles
This type of beetle infests whether hardwoods or some softwoods. Among the main target false powderpost beetles have, tropical timber and bamboo transported in international trade are often the damaged ones. Flooring, paneling furniture and many other hardwood elements are some of the items these beetles attack. Regarding the female false powderpost beetles, it does not lay their eggs on the wood’s surface but bore a space into the wood to lay its eggs in pores or cracks. The larvae pack their tunnels with a distinguished coarse that make them stand from other type of wood borer.
Solutions that help to prevent wood beetle infestations
Prevention is the management in many aspects of our lives, as so it is when it comes to wood- infesting beetles.
- When selecting your timber and wood products, make sure you inspect them. You can also repeat the prevention measure once your products are delivered to your home, this way you can check if they have any emerge holes or not.
- Opt for wood that has been air dried, this reduces moisture and of course it is a favorable aspect that will prevent wood- infesting beetles.
- It is recommended that firewood is split and store away from structures.
- Proper ventilation, drainage and dehumidifiers are key features that reduce moisture inside any home; be sure you have this covered!
- In case you have unfinished wood items at home; treat them with a borate product (Boracare and Timbor are two of the most used ones), they will help preventing damage from wood- destroying species.
- Get rid of infested branches or limbs by burning them.
- If the infestation on your wood floor appears to be localized, for instance: a few holes in a board; you may need replacing the board or sheet of paneling, this can be a simple but effective solution.
In brief, as long as your home no moisture problems, has a central cooling and heating system and is not unoccupied for long periods of time, you can be sure you are avoiding serious wood problems at home.
Wood furniture and flooring are treasured possession in any home; caring for them should be something that is present in your mind all the time, your furniture pieces can last for generations and there is no better reason to protect your home’s wood furniture or floors. As you can notice, the amount of damage that wood- infesting organisms cause depends on many factors; such as the type of wood (hardwood, softwood), the moisture contained in the wood, as well as the environmental conditions in the infestation site, all of them can affect your wood items in a serious way. This is the reason why you need to identify the most common species that can damage your wood, but most importantly you need to know how to control them.
Prevention is key when it comes to wood items and flooring, create an excellent plan to avoid or control beetles…you start, we Finish!
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