There are several types of wood-boring beetles found in Texas that can damage wood and wood products. Wood-boring beetles can vary in size, the type of damage they cause, and their preference for the types of wood they damage. The knowledgeable professionals at A-Tex Pest Management are the experts when it comes to positively identifying and controlling wood-boring beetles in homes or businesses. Along with wood-boring beetles, there are many other types of insects that attack and damage wood including carpenter ants, carpenter bees and termites. The characteristics and damage caused by these pests can differ greatly depending on the species.
Signs & Detection of Wood Boring Beetles
There are several identifying signs that indicate wood boring beetles are present in the wood. One of the most common signs of an infestation is the presence of holes that begin to appear as the adult beetles chew through the wood and begin to emerge. Other indicators include the presence of frass, a powdery material that is produced as the beetles feed. Frass consists of tiny plant fragments mixed with excrement. Frass can often be found in small piles below the holes made by the beetles. The appearance of the frass can range from very fine to coarse depending on the species of wood-boring beetles. Other signs that indicate an infestation include wood that appears stained or blistered. The blistering can be attributed to the larvae tunneling below the surface of the wood. Although uncommon, the immature beetles can be heard chewing on the wood. The chewing noises are described as ticking or rasping noises which are most often heard at night.
Identification of Wood Boring Beetles
If you find evidence of an infestation, contact your A-Tex Pest Management professional for correct identification of the species or family of wood-boring beetles involved. Adult beetles can range in size from 1/8-inch to more than two inches. Some are dark in color while others are blue or green with a metallic tinge or they can be stripped with red or yellow combinations. Immature beetles are rarely seen as they typically remain inside the wood. The holes left by wood-boring beetles are generally round in shape but some species can produce oval or even semicircular holes. The shape and size of the holes can assist in the positive identification of beetles. Both the type and location of the frass can also be used to positively identify the type of wood-boring beetle. Your A-Tex Pest Management specialist will examine the exit holes along with the texture of the frass taking note if it appears powdery, pelleted, shredded or coarse in appearance. A hand lens is often used to examine and identify the frass of wood-infesting beetle species.
Prevention of Wood Boring Beetles
Prevention is the key to avoiding the damage caused by wood-boring beetles. There are several procedures in place to either avoid or eliminate these problems when the wood is harvested. When purchasing wood, examine it closely for the tell-tale signs of exit holes. Control moisture in the home and repair any leaks quickly. Install vapor barriers and quality installation. The majority of wood-boring beetles are unable to survive in wood that has a moisture content of less than 15%. Low moisture levels will also prevent decay which would otherwise create the perfect environment for wood-boring beetles to thrive. Ensure that you keep exposed wood and furniture in the home properly maintained by periodically applying a fresh coat of paint or varnish. The majority of wood-boring beetles will not attack wood that is painted, waxed, or varnished or wood that is properly maintained by other types of finished surfaces. If possible, avoid introducing new wood sources to the home that may have the potential to be contaminated, for example, firewood. Store firewood away from the structure and only bring wood into the home if you intend to burn it immediately.