As wood ages in a structure, the weaker it will become. Of course, modern treatments that are given to joists, floorboards, and planks mean that wooden parts of a home or outhouse can have their lives extended for decades. Nevertheless, all wood ages, especially when it is exposed to the elements. Therefore, it can sometimes be tricky to work out whether wood has simply come to the end of its life and needs to be replaced or has become the subject of an infestation, prematurely ageing it. Understanding the signs of a wooden infestation is important because it will allow you to take counter measures before the problem spreads to other parts of your property, causing greater disruption and cost.
The common furniture beetle, the powder post beetle and the house longhorn beetle are found in most parts of Australia, and these wood borers can cause plenty of damage. As the larvae of these beetles grow they literally chew through your wood towards the surface. Unfortunately, they can infest your wooden structures for years before they are noticed doing untold damage in the process.
To spot them, look for fresh exit holes that will be oval in shape. Dust may be another sign of these creatures because it falls out from the holes they make. Boring beetles can be spotted making their way to the outside and are frequently best found looking near to window frames and doorways.
Like garden-loving termites, drywood termites are able to get around by using their wings. However, they tend to discard these before boring into wood as they will no longer need to fly once inside. Therefore, spotting wings in the corners of your home tends to mean you have a termite maintenance job on your hands rather than a flying ant infestation.
Drywood termites may mean calling upon experts to help you get rid of them because chemicals are often needed. However, you can spot them at an early stage by looking out for their excrement which resembles little wood-coloured pellets. Drywood termites create a hollow sound in wood when you knock on it, another good indication that they are present.
These grain pests are well-known to farmers because of their love of consuming flour and other cereals. They tend to cause a problem for homeowners in food storage areas. Grain weevils attack the wooden parts of a structure in which food is stored leaving tiny holes. They will frequently pupate in the timbers, too. Although less problematic than some wood borers they are unpleasant in homes. Store your food in plastic containers to discourage them.