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Wood Destroyers

Wood Boring Beetles

Wood Boring Beetles infest and damage the structures of wood. They are a major concern! There are a number of families of wood infesting beetles which are found in structures. In Southern California wood destroying beetles are not as common as termites. Often, signs of inactive infestations can be found in existing wood members of a home since beetle infestations are common in wood but killed in the drying process. A licensed inspector can usually determine if infestation appears to be active or not. A good sign of active infestation is consistent wood frass (shavings or even powder like substance) being kicked out of wood members.

Treatment for wood boring beetles can vary depending on the type of beetle infesting a structure and the extent of infestation. Control methods can include fumigation or localized chemical treatment similar to that of drywood termites. Beetles however require a much stronger dose of fumigant as well as the use of Methyl Bromide as a fumigant. Vikane is not an ovicide and thus not effective for controlling beetles.

Wood Boring Beetle Summary

Location of Infestation
In the wood members of the structure or even furniture
Signs of Infestation
Shavings ranging from sawdust to face powder like consistency and emergence holes ranging from 1/32″ to 3/8″
Methods of Control
Fumigation (Methyl Bromide), localized chemical treatment (for limited infestations only)

Wood Destroying Fungus

Wood Destroying Fungi can cause extreme damage to wood structures.

Structural damage, due to attack by these fungi, can be as catastrophic or more as the invasion of termites and beetles.

A basic definition of fungus is “a plant that does not contain chlorophyll”. Chlorophyll of green plants is what enables them to produce nutrients using sunlight as a power source. But fungi, lacking chlorophyll, must find some other means. For this they attack wood, which is composed primarily of cellulose, breaking the cellulose down to starches and then to the basic sugar molecules which can be utilized for their nutrition.

Usually a fungus infection results from a moisture condition that should not exist. Plumbing leaks, roof leaks, clogged gutters and improperly placed sprinklers are common culprits. Once an infection is present, not only must the moisture source be stopped but the infected timber must be treated (surface fungus) or removed and replaced for more advance infections.

Fungus has often been referred to as wood cancer, since most infestations must be cut out or they will spread. The damage fungus infections can cause can be very, very costly. Serious damage can occur in just months and will often be more costly and serious than that of termites.

Wood Destroying Fungus Summary

Location of Infection
In the wood members of the structure. Often in the eaves, rafters, patio covers, decks, walls around stall showers and subfloor
Signs of Infection
Damaged soft spongy wood. Damaged wood crumbles when crushed between fingers. Wood which gives easily to probing.
Methods of Control
Removal and replacement of infected wood. Treatment of surface fungus with fungicide (for very light infections).

Need More Info?
On other species of termites (i.e., formosans), carpenter ants, carpenter bees, specific types of wood destroying beetles and more.

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