It can be very daunting to discover that pests have damaged the woodwork in your home. Termite traces from scraps of wood, holes left by woodworms or carpenter ants – all of them mean trouble. Damage to the wooden elements of your home can have serious structural consequences. Even if the pests have been eliminated themselves, the damage will persist.
It is important to fix wood damage before it becomes a major problem.
Pests that damage wood
Termites are tiny boring insects that consume cellulose. They are best known to attack wood, but they also damage other high-cellulose materials such as wood. B. Cotton fibers used in upholstery or fabrics. Termites can be very difficult to spot and are sometimes only noticed after their damage has progressed significantly. Signs that you have a termite infestation include damaged and crumbling wood, traces of digested wood powder, and the dead insects themselves.
Carpenter ants, as the name suggests, nest in wood. This is fine if they live in the forest and build their houses in fallen trees. However, if they do decide to furnish a home in the woods of your home, they can be a serious problem. Carpenter ants are small, dark insects less than half an inch in length. They are attracted to rotten or damaged wood, but can attack undamaged wood. Carpenter bees are similar to bumblebees except for their shiny black rib cage. These bees bored holes in untreated and weathered wood and then built their nests in it. They return every year and worsen the damage every time.
Dealing with insect damage
Step one is to make sure that the insects are completely eradicated. You might be tempted to do this yourself, but it is a task best left to professionals. The chemicals required must be carefully handled and properly applied to be used safely and effectively. Termites and other insects can be difficult to spot, which means they may have attacked more than one area of your home without you noticing. Contact a reputable pest control company to get rid of termites or other insects that are attacking your home.
The next step is to assess the damage. The professionals who helped get rid of the pests may be able to provide you with some pointers, or you can call in a carpenter or other specialist for home repairs. If the damage is limited to small sections and does not affect the main structure of your home, a do-it-yourself solution may be possible.
With a little carpenter expertise, you may be able to remove the affected section of wood and replace it with solid wood. However, this may not be necessary. Small sections of wood with limited damage can often be stabilized and filled with suitable material. Before you start filling, you must remove damaged or rotten wood so that only healthy wood remains. This can be treated with a wood hardener to stabilize it and prevent further deterioration. You need to let the hardener dry thoroughly before adding filler. Choose a good quality filler that is suitable for use with wood. All-purpose filler is fine as long as it is labeled as compatible with wood. Shape the filler into the same shape as the rest of the surrounding wood and let it harden completely. Once the filler is completely dry, it can be sanded and painted to match the surrounding wood.
Prevention of future infestation
To prevent insects from attacking your woodwork, make sure all of the wood is properly treated and weatherproof. Most insects like to attack untreated, cracked or broken wood. Replace or repair damaged wood. Cracks and gaps in the outer walls are very attractive to pests. You can also run in water, which can rot the wood and make the situation worse. Make sure that the cracks are carefully filled and that there are no gaps for insect pests. If you see signs of an infestation, don't wait. A reliable specialist like Excel Pest Control can help treat existing infections and prevent future infections from damaging wood in your home. Why not call today?