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Other Wood Destroying Organisms

Best Pest Control Services has experienced technicians that will inspect your home and properly identify not only termites & carpenter ants, but also other wood destroying insects and organisims. These other wood destroying insects and organisims may include:

Wood Boring Beetles

Wood Boring Beetles

Powder Post (Lyctid) Beetles

Powder Post Beetles are often found in manufactured products in relatively new homes. They can be introduced as eggs or larvae in firewood, improperly dried wood or wood that has been stored. Hardwood flooring, furniture, door and window frames and decorative trim are particularly susceptible to attack. Their relatively short life cycle, high initial populations and high survival rate of offspring often result in rapid and expensive damage. The larvae are responsible for almost all damage and feed entirely within the wood. Most infestations are not discovered until adult beetles emerge through the wood surface. Emergence holes are round, 1/32" to 1/8" in diameter and the frass is loosely packed with the feel of fine talcum powder- thus, their common name of powder post beetle.

Lyctic powder post beetles will attack wood with moisture levels of eight to thirty two percent but prefer a range of ten to twenty percent, typical of that found in most homes. The larvae cannot digest cellulose but eat the starch and other cell contents such as sugar and protein.

The greatest period of adult activity occurs in late winter or early spring. The adults conceal themselves in cracks and holes in the wood during the day and become active at night. They are strong fliers and may be attracted to lights. Indoors, they may be seen crawling on window-sills, floors, furniture and other surfaces. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.


Anobiid Beetles

Anobiid beetles are one of the few beetle species that will attack both hardwoods and softwoods. Wood, such as maple, beech and poplar is particularly susceptible to attack. Anobiid exit holes are round and about 1/8" in diameter. Larvae feeding in softwoods produce numerous oval pellets which have a gritty feel. Infestations usually begin in crawl spaces or other areas where wood is near the ground. Damage may be heaviest near access openings, such as doors and vents, where the infestation first started. High moisture levels in the wood will speed the development of these beetles and, under favorable conditions, the cycle of re-infestation can occur within 1 to 2 years. Damage is usually detected in homes older than ten years since infestations develop slowly. Adult beetles are active only at night and may become numerous in early to late spring. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.


Old House Borers

In some areas of the country, the old house borer is second only to termites in damage to structural wood. Found from Maine to Florida and west to Michigan and Texas, the behavior of old house borers is far different than their name suggests. Old house borers prefer to attack recently seasoned wood and are typically found in newer homes. Infestations are often introduced in firewood or through the use of lumber that contains eggs or small larvae. Usually, noticeable infestations are limited to a few wood members, however, adjoining sound boards may also be infested by young larvae. Depending on conditions, damage may not be detected until adults emerge three to ten years after the initial infestation.

As opposed to most other beetle species, old house borers prefer dry wood containing ten to twelve percent moisture content. Both the adult exit holes and the feeding tunnels of large larvae are oval and about 1/4" in diameter. Galleries near the surface cause lighter colored streaks to appear on the wood surface. The frass is a coarse, tightly packed powder. One typical characteristic of an old house borer infestation is the noise older larvae make while feeding. Often this chewing noise is what will first alert the homeowner that an infestation is present. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.


Wood Decay Fungi

Brown Rot

Brown rot fungi feed on the wood's cellulose, a component of the wood's cell wall, leaving a brown residue of lignin, a substance which holds the cells together. Infested wood may be greatly weakened, even before decay can be seen. Advanced infestations of brown rot are evidenced by wood browner in color than normal, tending to crack across the grain, shrink and collapse. When dried, wood previously infested will turn to powder when crushed. Often, old infestations of brown rot which have dried out are labelled as "dry rot." This is really an incorrect term since wood will not decay when dry. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.


White Rot

When white rot attacks wood it breaks down both the lignin and cellulose causing the wood to lose its color and appear whiter that normal. Wood affected by white rot normally does not crack across the grain and will only shrink and collapse when severely degraded. Infested wood will gradually lose its strength and become spongy to the touch. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.


Dry Rot or Water-Conducting Fungi

Most wood fungi are unable to conduct water very far and can only attack moist wood. However, Poria incrassata, occasionally called dry rot or the water-conducting fungus, will decay wood which cannot be attacked by typical decay fungi. This type of fungi can transport water for several feet through large root-like structures called rhizomorphs. Once established, it can quickly spread through a building and destroy large areas of flooring and walls in as little as a year or two.

Typically, infestations of Poria begin in earth-filled porches, damp crawl spaces and basements where wood is in contact with the soil, moist concrete or bricks which are a constant source of water. At first, yellowish mycellial fans grow over the surface of joists and sub-floors, or in protected areas. Irregular root-like rhizomorphs may appear on foundations, framing, subflooring and other attacked wood. The rhizomorphs are dirty-white when young, but turn brown to black with age. They are typically 1/4" to 1/2" wide, but can be an inch or more in diameter in old infestations. They are often hidden in concrete, masonry or behind wood structures. Fruiting bodies do not always form, but when they do they are found on well rotted wood and are flat, up to 1/2" thick and pale olive-grey with a dirty white-yellow rim when young. With age they become dry and turn brown to black. The under surface is covered with fine pores.

When wood with this type of decay dries, it usually shrinks severely and cracks across the grain. Such cracks or depressed areas in painted woodwork, may be the first evidence of a poria infestation. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.


Molds and Stains

Molds and stain fungi are sometimes mistaken for decay, and while they may discolor wood they cause no structural wood damage. The presence of molds and stains, however, is a sign that conditions are favorable for decay fungi and that a preventative treatment may be necessary. In addition, molds and stains can increase the capacity of wood to absorb moisture, opening the door to attack by decay fungi. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.


Treatment for Wood Boring Insects

Best Pest Control Services uses a Borate Solution product when treating for wood boring insects and fungi. Call us for an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.

Treatment with Borates (Boric Acid)

Borates are highly effective as a pesticide. Borates use a unique approach for the control of wood boring beetles. When applied to bare wood, Borates deposit micro-crystals of boric acid in the wood, poisoning the beetle larvae's food source and interrupting their life cycle. Borates eliminate active beetle infestations and will provide long term protection against re-infestation.

Control of Decay Using Borates

Treatment with Borates should not be considered as a total replacement for moisture control. Leaky plumbing, drain spouts and other moisture problems should always be repaired in addition to treatment. Wet crawl spaces should be vented and moisture barrier installed when deemed necessary. Structural wood members that are no longer sound must be replaced. Although Borates will kill decay fungi, it will not add strength to rotted wood.

Advantages of Borates

  • Quick control of active decay
  • No odor or color
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Superior wood penetration
  • Can be used any time of the year
  • Approved for internal and external use
  • Extremely long-term residual control
  • Low toxicity to humans and pets

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Treatment for Wood Decay Fungi

If the decay hazard is high, select the heartwood of decay-resistant species or use wood properly treated with a good preservative. Eligible conifers include Pacific yew, juniper, redwood, baldcypress, and western red cedar. Durable hardwood species include osage orange, black locust, red mulberry, catalpa and black walnut.

Build on a well-drained site. Use proper grading to prevent water from seeping under the house. Install effective drain tile, roof overhang, gutters, and downspouts. Place no untreated wood within 18 inches of the ground.

Provide adequate cross ventilation beneath buildings to eliminate dead air pockets. Install two square feet of opening for 25?linear feet of wall. Dense bushes or other plants should not be placed in front of these ventilators.

Install a vapor barrier on the soil surface to cause soil moisture to condense on the barrier and return to the soil rather than condensing on the floor and above joists. Satisfactory barriers can be made by covering the soil with asphalt roofing paper or polyethylene sheets.

Repair of Decayed Buildings

First determine the source of moisture and remove it. If adequate ventilation and soil drainage are provided and all contacts of untreated wood with the soil or moist concrete or masonry are broken, decayed wood will dry out and further decay will be stopped.

When making replacements, cut out at least one foot beyond the rotten area. Avoid placing new lumber in contact with old, decayed wood. Replacement lumber should be treated before installation. Remodel to provide more ventilation and better design rather than simply replacing decayed lumber. Call us for more information and an estimate at (617) 625-4850 or (781) 641-4040 or email us today.

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