Destructive Wood Pests
A Parisen Associates New Jersey home inspection uncovers any evidence of infestation by wood-destroying organisms or insects. There are several types of bugs that can do extensive damage to a home, chewing away at floors, support beams and wood framing…all hidden from casual view.
Most wood destroying pests are attracted to damp wood and love moisture, with some exceptions, such as drywood termites. It's important to know which type of insect or wood-destroying organism has infested your home before deciding on a treatment, as different insects and organisms require different strategies.
Here's a look at common wood-destroying insects and their behavior:
There Are Different Types of Termites
Everyone has heard of termites, yet they're also among the hardest to find. Termites live in colonies and are made up of three different types of insects, with only one type that actually damages wood. The problem is that all colonies have the destructive kind, so if a colony is detected, it must be dealt with.
There are several types of termites: Subterranean termites live in soil and crawl into a home's structure, eating away on the cellulose found in the wood. They prefer to eat the wood from the inside of the piece, since it provides the maximum shelter and moisture. This makes termites harder to detect.
Drywood termites are usually found in attics or in exterior wood, rather than inside surfaces. Drywood termites thrive in warm climates and leave behind evidence such as holes in the wood and waste.
Carpenter ants dig into wood where they lay eggs in nests. If your home has decayed or damp wood, there is a good chance that carpenter ants have infested it, as well. Carpenter ants leave behind a material resembling sawdust and known as "frass." In other strong wood, Frass may indicate recent activity.
Moist wood can attract wood-boring beetles which are common in, both, older and newer homes. These pests live in all 50 states and they dig into wood, much like termites do.
There are several types of wood-boring beetles. Lyctids, for instance, (sometimes called "powderpost beetles") come in 11 varieties and are often attracted to younger wood, particularly hardwoods, bamboo, oak, hickory and ash.
Anobiids come in 200 varieties and are often red or black. They are can be found in crawl spaces and love both hardwoods and softwoods.
Bostrichid beetles are large and can be found arund fresh-cut hardwoods. They are reddish-brown or black in color.
Fungus growing in the wood can cause dry rot in a home's wooden surfaces. The fungus occurs when the wood is moist, and after the wood dries, the wood breaks up into irregularly-shaped chunks and fibers, which, because of their dry condition, allow for moisture to get into the wood where fungus spreads. The only way to treat dry rot is to remove or replace the wood.
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