Termites Guide





Old House Borers

Old house borers are a kind of beetle that feeds on certain soft woods - generally newer woods (the name is deceptive). The adults (that actually look like beetles) aren't the ones that do any damage - in fact, they only live a couple of weeks. It's the larva that will harm your house - little worm-looking bugs that live for years before they turn into adults, and eat into wood digging tunnels all around in it. They've got three big signs, and two of them could make you think you have termites. 
First, they will dig little holes in the wood, so you'll see the place where the adult beetles have come out.

Second, they leave sawdust around these holes - which is the same thing that drywood termites do. The sawdust will generally happen in mid-summer, when the adults emerge.

Third, though, they make gnawing sounds periodically, which you will be able to hear from several feet away. That's the big distinguishing one, because termites obviously don't do that. People have also described the sound as a clicking noise. You usually only hear this sound during the spring and summer.
 

Basic Info About Termites

How to Inspect for Termites

Termite Pictures

Ways to Protect Your House

Liquid Treatments

Bait Treatments

Borate Treatments

 

This bug is especially fond of pine, and they are commonly found in log houses (mainly because the logs will sit out in the open for so long that they've got a lot of chances to get into them). They like moist wood, and attics are a popular burrowing spot for them. They are most common in the Eastern parts of the U.S. In terms of damage, they're usually less destructive than termites, but you still want to get rid of them because they can do significant structural damage to a home.

There are a couple of treatment options. First of all, you could fumigate the place. But that's considered extreme, and mainly reserved for cases where the damage is getting severe. Second, you could inject pesticides into the wood. The pest control company will usually have to do this by drilling holes around your house, because it can be hard for some chemicals to be absorbed deep enough to kill all of the burrowing larva. Borates are a natural pesticide that are often used for this as well. The only downside is that it can often take a long time for all of the larva to be killed off - so you may be hearing the clicking noises for months to come.

If you have a question about termites you want answered, submit it here.

Sources and Useful Links:

http://www.ento.psu.edu/Extension/factsheets/old_house_borer.htm

http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page296.html

http://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/wdi/ohb.cfm

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