What Are The Most Common Indications That A Wood-Boring Beetle Infestation Has Been Established Within The Structural Wood Members In Homes

Numerous insect species are known to consume and nest within wood, some of which are pests that damage structural wood in homes. As many people are already well aware, termites are easily the most destructive and economically costly group of wood-damaging insect pests, as they inflict more than five billion dollars in structural damages annually in the US alone. Much of this cost is incurred in Louisiana where the invasive Formosan subterranean termite has had a devastating impact, most notably in New Orleans’ French Quarter where experts estimate that almost all residential homes have sustained some degree of damage inflicted by this pest. Given the destruction that termites have caused in Louisiana since the emergence of the Formosan subterranean termite along the southern coast, it is easy to overlook the damage caused by wood-boring beetle pests. There exists a large number of wood-boring beetle pest species in Louisiana, and they vary significantly in terms of wood preference, body size, and the extent of damage they typically inflict.

There are several indicators of a wood-boring beetle presence within structural wood, and homeowners should familiarize themselves with these signs so that infestations can be caught and eradicated before they inflict serious damage. For example, the larvae of wood-boring beetles produce audible ticking or rasping sounds as they plow tunnels through wood, and these sounds are most often heard during the most peaceful nighttime hours. In advanced infestation cases, damaged structural wood may appear blistered due to larvae excavating wood at the surface of lumber. Much like termite damaged wood, the blistered surface typically breaks in response to pressure, and much like drywood termites, wood-boring beetle larvae discard excess bits of excavated wood through “kick-out holes” the pests carve into the surface. The discarded wood bits are known as “frass” and it closely resembles sawdust. Frass collects in piles around the infested lumber component, and spotting frass piles is one of the most common first signs that a wood-boring beetle infestation has been established.

Have you ever discovered a pile of frass in your home? If you have, was it a result of wood-boring beetle activity?



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