The term wood boring beetle encompasses many species and families of beetles whose larval or adult forms eat and destroy wood. In the woodworking industry, larval stages of some are sometimes referred to as woodworms . The three most abundant species families of wood boring beetles are longhorn beetles, bark beetles and weevils, and metallic flat-headed borers.
Wood boring beetles most often attack dying or dead trees. In forest settings, they are important in the turnover of trees by culling weak trees, thus allowing new growth to occur. They are also important as primary decomposers of trees within forest systems, allowing for the recycling of nutrients locked away in the relatively decay-resilient woody material of trees. Though the vast majority of woodboring beetles are ecologically important and economically benign, some species can become economic pests by attacking relatively healthy trees or by infesting downed trees in lumber yards. Species such as the Asian longhorn beetle and the emerald ash borer are examples of invasive species that threaten nature forest ecosystems.
About three hundred different species of wood-boring beetles are known as occurring in our domestic woodwork indoors, but of these only seven are of frequent occurrence, and it is to the larval or grub stage that we apply the description ‘woodworm’. Woodboring beetles are commonly detected a few years after new construction. The lumber supply may have contained wood infected with beetle eggs or larvae, and since beetle life cycles can be one or more years, several years may pass before the presence of beetles becomes noticeable. If you have an infestation of woodboring beetles, it is best to consult a professional entomologist before contacting an exterminator. In many cases, the beetles will be of a type that only attacks living wood, and thus incapable of “infesting” any other pieces of wood, or doing any further damage. In other words, only some types of beetles should be of concern to a homeowner or a household (see list below), and exterminators may be unable or unwilling to make this distinction.
Genuine infestations are far more likely in areas with high humidity, such as poorly-ventilated crawl spaces. Housing with central heating/air-conditioning tends to cut the humidity of wood in the living areas to less than half of natural humidity, thus strongly reducing the likelihood of an infestation. Infested furniture should be removed from the house before the infestation spreads.
You might see other wood-boring beetles such as flat headed or round headed borers and bark or ambrosia beetles in your home if you store infested firewood inside. However, these typically are forest insects that won’t attack wood structures or furniture. They begin their life cycles on declining trees that are old or that have sustained fire or insect damage. Sometimes these forest insects are present in trees when they are milled into wood products, and they might cause alarm when they emerge from infested wood used in newly constructed buildings.
Let us look at the below news article:
Fears over possible spread of highly destructive beetle centered around Surrey
2:00 am Sunday 23rd March 2014
A national trade body has raised fears of the possible spread of a “voracious” wood-destroying beetle apparently centered around Surrey.
The Property Care Association (PCA) has opened a register to track any reported sightings of the House Longhorn Beetle.
The insect can cause severe structural damage to properties.
Experts from the association are keeping a watching brief and have urged their members across the UK to report any sightings of the insect.
The move comes as the trade body fears changing weather patterns could provide a more fertile environment for the beetle to spread across the UK.
The PCA has called the impact the House Longhorn Beetle can have on property “devastating,” as it attacks the sapwood in softwood timber. Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, which represents UK specialists in the remedial preservation sector, said: “We are picking up the reins of a study last completed ten years ago.”
He said: “Over the years there have been reports of the Longhorn House Beetle centred around the Surrey area, and now there is concern that our changing climate could enable the beetle to spread.”
He continued: “It’s a voracious pest and, left untreated, can even cause roofs to collapse. “We need to know where it is in the UK, and plot any sightings.”
Mr. Hodgson added: “The information will be collected and a report published annually in an attempt to map the spread and distribution of this highly destructive insect in the face of our changing climate.”
The PCA incorporates the British Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association (BWPDA), which has been in formation for 80 years.
It represents the UK’s structural repair sector, as well as the structural waterproofing, wood preservation, damp-proofing, flood remediation and invasive weed control industries
The article shows the immense potential of these beetles for causing damage worth thousands of dollars! Our precious and many a times antiquated wood is at threat from these notorious borers.
A fool proof way of dealing with these is the use of Termirepel™, a non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly termite and insect repellent manufactured by C Tech Corporation. Termirepel™ works by the mechanism of repellence by which it strives at effectively keeping the termites and other insects away from the application to be protected. Termirepel™ is available in the form of a lacquer which can be applied on wooden articles directly. It offers complete protection for long periods of time. It is also available in liquid concentrate form which can be directly pressure injected in the wooden articles ensuring protection from beetles and other insects.