Unfortunately for homeowners there are numerous insect pests that can infest and damage the structure of a house through the consumption of structural timbers, stored wood, and other wood contained within the home. Termites and carpenter ants are far from the only pest you need to watch out for when it comes to the structural integrity of your home. One major player in this category of pests are the various kinds of wood-boring beetles. Texas homes owners need to look out for signs of these little pests, as they can cause as much or more damage than the more commonly known pests such as termites.
The key to protecting your home against damage from wood-boring beetles is being able to properly identify the species of wood-boring beetles that are infesting the house. There are 12 different families of wood-boring beetles, and they can vary greatly in their size, the nature of damage they can cause, their wood preference, as well as other factors. The control measures necessary to rid a house of these insect pests can vary by species, hence the importance of properly identifying the specific culprit.
When detecting whether you have an infestation of wood-boring beetles, one of the most common signs are holes left by adult beetles that have chewed their way through the wood. The other common indicator to watch out for is a powdery material called frass, which is often mixed their excrement, that the beetles produce while they are feeding on the wood. The frass is pushed out of the holes the beetles make as they emerge from the holes, and can usually be found piled below said holes. Depending on the species, the consistency of the frass can range from very fine to coarse. You may also find the adult beetles piled near the holes they create if it is in a confined space, as they are attracted to lights and windows and may congregate in those areas.
If you are lucky enough to find the adult beetles outside the holes they’ve created, identifying them is simply a matter of seeing what size and color they are. The adult wood-boring beetles can range in size from ⅛ of an inch to over 2 inches in length, and they vary in color from dark brown to metallic blue or green, as well as striped yellow or red. Knowing the type of wood that is infested can also help you identify which species of wood-boring beetle they are. The shape of the holes they create is another indicator of which species is infesting the wood. The holes are usually round, but some beetle species will carve out oval or semicircular holes. Another thing to watch out for is the texture and location of the frass they produce, as some will be packed into the holes, while others push their frass out of the hole. The texture of the frass can be powdery, coarse, shredded, or pelletized. When you have identified these different aspects of the beetle infesting your home, it is best to leave the rest to the professionals, as they will be able to identify what species they are easily, and decide on the control measure needed from there.
Have you ever noticed signs of a wood-boring beetle infestation in your home? What species of beetle was infesting your home and what kind of control measure did you have to use?