How Beetles Can Ruin Your Property

Researchers have discovered that hundreds of different insect species can live and thrive in a home. Almost all rooms are home to at least one insect, and many are home to more than one. There are thousands of different species of beetle, but they all have one thing in common: They can cause major headache and hassle to homeowners.

Types of Havoc-Causing Beetles

Powderpost beetles are some of the most common pests, especially in houses in the state of Texas and other homes in the deep South. These beetles only attack hardwood. This means that they won’t completely destroy a home, but they will infest any area of the house that uses hardwood. This can include flooring, molding, doors, cabinets, and hardwood furniture. Once these beetles are settled, they’re a nightmare to remove.

If you aren’t sure whether you have a powderpost infestation or not, check your wood for small round holes. These holes alone aren’t an indicator of infestation, but if there’s sawdust coming from inside them, you have an active infestation.

Powderpost beetles can negatively affect the price of your house. If you’re trying to sell it, they can also scare away potential buyers. There are state reports on wood destroying insects that are required for most types of home loans.

Most of the time, infestations crop up in newer houses that were build with wood that was already infested. There’s no easy way to get rid of the beetles unless you get rid of the wood entirely. This can mean prying up entire floors, digging through the walls, or throwing out furniture. Replacement can take a huge amount of time and energy.

There are certain species of beetle which will feed on both hardwood and softwood. These beetles are even more dangerous, because they don’t just cause superficial damage. Instead, they can cause damage to the structural integrity of a home. Entire houses have been condemned due to beetle infestations. An unsound frame cannot support a house.

Treating an Infestation

If you do have an infestation, it’s important to treat it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the infestation will progress and ruin more of your things.

In small infestation cases, you may be able to merely get rid of the infected wood yourself. This would work if the beetles had settled in hardwood furniture or removable wood paneling.

However, if the beetles are inside your walls or the frame of your house, you’ll need more heavy-duty intervention. If you aren’t sure of the extent of the damage, it’s better to call a professional than try to handle an infestation yourself. Beetles aren’t dangerous to you, but you don’t want to miss some and end up with a worse infestation in the long run.

As previously mentioned, removing the wood entirely is almost always the best solution. Because the beetles settle in the wood itself, there’s no easy way to extricate them from the wood. Plus, by the time a colony of beetles has settled in a piece of wood, they’ve likely damaged it beyond usability.

After you get rid of the offending wood pieces, you’ll need to pay for reconstruction. This might be a good time to redo your floors or walls, if you’re the type who enjoys remodeling. If not, your local hardware store can probably assist you in finding the right pieces to replace those you’ve lost. (Make sure the new pieces aren’t infested before you install them!)

Whether you call an exterminator or deal with the infestation yourself, you should get a home inspection done after you get rid of the infested wood. A home inspector should be able to find any remaining sources of infestation or, if there are none, to declare your home pest-free. This will be important for reports to the bank and your insurance company. It will also be helpful for your own peace of mind.

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