Harmful, xylophagous insects nibble, feed, and are the source of holes formed in wood. Without effective treatment to keep them away, these little animals can cause significant damage to the frame, beams, or floors. In addition to the intervention of a professional, there are practical tips to eradicate them.
Characteristics of xylophagous insects
As their name suggests, xylophagous insects are pests that feed mainly on wood supporting human constructions. They are also known as “wood insects.” There are two types of xylophagous insects, those of dry wood and those of fresh wood. Termites or Isoptera, woodworms, and Capricorns are among the species that most often attack homes.
Termites live and roam in colonies outside the house or in the ground. However, these insects manage to cross the building’s masonry to reach the wood easily. To find the cellulose they need, termites attack all wood species, except some exotic woods.
The woodworms stand out for their amazing shape. Indeed, they are provided with club-shaped antennae, two mandibles, elytra covered with hair, and six legs. In addition to being stocky, they are yellowish and dark brown in color. The small beetle measures between 3 and 5 mm, while the large is between 5 and 7 mm long. The latter is especially present in homes that have recently been subject to flooding or infiltration problems. The small wood beetle is fond of the wood of furniture, frames, or floors.
- The Capricorns of the houses
The house Capricorn is flattened in shape, brown in color, and between 1 and 2 cm long. Its life expectancy does not exceed two weeks, and the female lays the eggs (between 20 and 80 eggs) in cracks in the wood. The adult Capricorn is quite harmless. It is actually the larvae that eat the wood, burrow galleries, and make structures vulnerable. The softwood such as pine, spruce, fir, etc. is the main victims of house Capricorn.
Detect the presence of xylophagous insects
To get rid of wood-boring insects completely, it is important to identify them properly. It should be noted that termites prefer hot, humid, and poorly ventilated places. The beetles, meanwhile, prefer hot, dry environments. Several signs show the presence of these little animals in the house. Note, however, that these signals may only appear years after the infestation.
- Holes in the wood
If the wood constituting the framework, the beams, or the floor is covered with small round or oval holes with clear edges, it is indeed wood-boring. These openings serve as the exit from the galleries for adult insects.
The sawdust or, more commonly, the wood dust result from movements performed by the adult-boring by conducting exit holes. If the holes are filled with lumps of wood flour and give the impression of a fairly good condition, the woodworms are most likely responsible for the damage. The extent of the damage can be assessed by hitting the holes with a hammer.
- The galleries
It is quite difficult to identify the galleries dug by xylophagous insects since they are hidden in the wood’s very heart. They are discovered when furniture is moved or during renovation work, especially when replacing parquet.
- Other signs indicating the presence of xylophagous insects
The heavily damaged floor, dead insects, or the adult insects’ whereabouts also indicate the infestation of borers in a house. It is also possible to see creamy white larvae with a curved shape. Woodworms (larvae), the main cause of damage, take several years to reach adulthood. Thus, it is sometimes too late before realizing the infestation.
Methods to eliminate xylophagous insects
In addition to the intervention of a professional in-home disinsection, it is possible to eliminate the xylophagous insects yourself that attack the wooden structures of the house. The curative treatment to adopt consists of destroying the xylophagous insects while offering optimal protection to the wood against new attacks.
Essential, logging is a crucial step to remove the parts ravaged by xylophagous to reach hard and healthy areas. The brushing and dusting, which are the next steps, facilitate deep penetration of the curative product.
- Spraying or whitewashing
To eliminate xylophages and their larvae, the use of insecticides is required. The application can be carried out by spraying or by brushing. To ensure that the entire surface has been perfectly treated, some insecticides are white when applied before turning transparent when dry. The insecticide treatment must be renewed twice, respecting at least 24 hours between applications. If the section wood is less than 80 cm 2, spraying or brushing is sufficient. For superior wood, continue the steps by performing an injection treatment.
Before adopting this technique, it is essential to wear suitable protective equipment such as gloves and a mask. It is also necessary to read and follow the instructions for using the product. The injection treatment consists of treating the wood in depth. This can be done by drilling holes in the wood and injecting the insecticide inside. Since the products used are quite dangerous for the skin, it is recommended to contact a pest control professional to perform the injection.
Prevent the invasion of xylophagous insects
For new constructions, structural timber benefits from treatment against any type of insect or larva over a period of 10 years. On the other hand, old houses must be treated quickly to prevent the galleries from damaging the wood and weakening the building’s structure. It is possible to carry out the preventive treatment for xylophagous invasion yourself by using a xylophone-based product. It is enough to apply it to the elements of the construction of wood like the framework.