Control Pests at Home: 4 Common Insects That Damage Wood

When looking at things that could potentially harm your property, you shouldn’t only focus on events like floods, fires and cyclones. In fact, you should be looking at unforeseen destroyers like pests which, while small, can cause serious damage to your house’s structure and your furnishings.

It’s crucial that you manage wood-destroying insects efficiently with regular home pest control in Melbourne or wherever you may reside. But first, you should get familiar with the following types of pests to understand how you can effectively eliminate them.

1. Powderpost Beetles

These small insects are not that known, but they can cause a major catastrophe on your hardwood. 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. 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. 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

Carpenter ants don’t munch on wood, but their strong jaws 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 lay their eggs. They do, however, prefer unfinished wood over timber with a paint or finish. Signs of carpenter bees infestation will include:

  • Heaps of 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:

Resolve any plumbing problems or roofing leaks in your home. Cut back branches and perform regular rubbish removal to dispose of materials that help carpenter ants come into contact with your roof. For every pest problem, especially with carpenter bees, it’s best to contact a professional to handle it to avoid getting stung.

3. Termites

This is the most well-known demolisher of wood. Termites can cause over a million dollars of damage each year if not prevented correctly. Unfortunately, most insurance policies do not typically cover termite damage, so you will have to undergo costly repairs out of your own pocket.

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:

Once you’ve discovered termites in your home, you should contact an exterminator immediately. If you manage to detect 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. Also, seal any holes, cracks or spaces around your house that can allow termites to enter.

4. Wood Wasps

Wood wasps lay their eggs in damaged trees and introduce fungus that can weaken the timber. They do not infest wood in houses, 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:

Although wood wasps are annoying due to their buzzing noise, they are not dangerous to humans. These pests are only drawn to untreated wood. 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 serious damage that the four pests above can inflict on wooden features in your home, it’s always a great idea to seek professional help. To deal with the problem properly, it pays to let an expert handle the job. Because most often than not, the DIY approach seldom solves the heart of the problem.

Hiring a pest control team is a sound investment, considering the huge damage these insects can cause.


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