Bark beetles, shashel, termites: how to deal with wood pests

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What are the most dangerous insects for wood and what you need to know about wood pest larvae? Can insects be detected in lumber or structure? You will find the answers to these questions in our article. Also, our site will tell you about the methods of fighting insects that have started up in the house or furniture.

Bark beetles, shashel, termites. How to deal with wood pests

Tree pests

The most terrible scourge of wood is termite, bark beetle and woodworm (woodworm). Tree beetles act swiftly and render wood unusable in 2-3 seasons. A termite colony destroys the rafter system in 1-2 seasons. It is because of the speed of movement and omnivorousness that tree beetles can be “infectious”, that is, they can move to a clean, uninfected forest and lay larvae.

Shashel or woodcutter

This pest is also called “grinder beetle”. However, it is not the beetle itself that is dangerous (adults do not live long and do not feed on anything), but its larva. Shashel larvae have a loose structure and developed jaws, with which they grind wood fibers, using nutrients from them.

Bark beetle

This beetle also feeds on oxidized wood – the most “tasty” areas for it are in the place where the bark adjoins clean fibers.

Bark beetles, shashel, termites. How to deal with wood pests

Termite or white ant

Insects live in large colonies with excellent organization. The species diversity of these insects is striking – about 3000 species. A distinctive feature of termites is that they move hidden, making passages under the ground or in the body of wood. Therefore, a termite mound, arranged in a wooden structure, is invisible in appearance..

Bark beetles, shashel, termites. How to deal with wood pests

How to identify tree infection

Lumber affected by insects has characteristic differences:

  • visible remnants of passages under the wane bark – bark beetle;
  • abnormal lightness of the board, holes O 2–5 mm on the surface, while the board looks intact, there are no moves – termite or shashel;
  • wood flour (dust), sometimes black-brown – all insects.

Wood affected by pests is “not treated”, since insects always strive to capture the largest space and are distributed throughout the entire element or structure, as long as their number is enough. If you find signs of a beetle, you should refuse to purchase the material. If the beetle is found in available stocks, the material should be discarded and the infected products should be burned.

The presence of larvae in the operating structure can be determined by ear – they emit a characteristic grinding or tapping, biting into a tree. In the old days, this sound was called “the clock of death”, since practically nothing was known about the possibility of a struggle.

Insect pest control methods

All methods of counteracting wood insects can be divided into preventive and operational.

Preventive action

This category includes actions for the preliminary processing of lumber, that is, before it enters the building structure. These methods prevent the formation of fungus and make the wood unsuitable for insects..

On-site antiseptic treatment.The simplest, cheapest and at the same time the weakest method of protection. Usually, the composition is simply applied to the surface of the wood at the storage location or immediately before use. For ease of use, you have to “pay” for a small penetration depth – up to 1 mm. Moreover, any antiseptic has a validity period, usually from 1 to 5 years. After 5 years, any antiseptic is guaranteed to be neutralized and the structure requires re-treatment.

Bark beetles, shashel, termites. How to deal with wood pests

Heat treatment.This method involves heating in sealed heat chambers. At the same time, the products warm up to 140 ° С, but the oxygen deficiency prevents the wood from igniting. The body of the tree is disinfected and nutrients for insects (sugar, starch) disintegrate, such a tree is no longer “interesting” for them. Annealing gives a number of interesting advantages – the evaporation of excess moisture condenses the material and it becomes harder, and the surface is slightly charred – up to 1 micron (0.1 mm). Firing costs 40 to 50% of the wood price.

Bark beetles, shashel, termites. How to deal with wood pests

Autoclave.The most effective way to disinfect and antisept wood is autoclave impregnation. It is used when processing the most valuable products – laminated veneer lumber and glued beams. The product is placed in a sealed container filled with an antiseptic, into which a pressure of up to 100 atm is then applied. Under pressure, the substance penetrates into the structure of the fibers, and they become completely “inedible” (unsuitable) for insects and fungi. Autoclave impregnation will increase the cost of the product by 50-80% (depending on the substance).

Bark beetles, shashel, termites. How to deal with wood spreaders

Operational measures

These methods are used in emergency situations – when the beetle has already wound up in an existing structure. These measures do not give 100% of the effect, rather, we are talking about 50% of cases when the development (reproduction) of insects can be stopped. If it is not possible to replace the element, then both old “old-fashioned” and modern technological methods will come to the rescue..


The most time consuming, but quite effective way of dealing with larvae. To implement it, you will need the main chemical – a solution of sodium fluoride or silicofluoride, which can be purchased at a fertilizer store. The method is applicable if inlets are available.

Bark beetles, shashel, termites. How to deal with wood pests

Operating procedure:

  1. Prepare a solution of sodium fluoride – 250 ml of concentrate per 3 liters of water.
  2. Clean and syringe the inlets.
  3. Prepare gruel from bread and concentrate.
  4. Using a syringe, inject the solution into the larva’s course.
  5. Seal the hole with poisoned bread putty, if possible, so that the solution remains inside.

Syringing will wash the wood flour off the course. Solution vapors and impregnated walls of the passage will force the larva to seek an urgent (during the day) exit and it will try to crawl back along the familiar passage. To get out, she will need to gnaw through a cork of poisoned bread. All. It looks like a fairy tale or a comic strip, but the method was invented and promulgated by a biologist-summer resident.


If a shashel or bark beetle is wound up in the floor or a wooden wall, such a simple method as tapping will help. It is quite effective, especially if there are no entry holes on the visible surface. It is better to tap the plane or structure through a block so as not to leave marks from a mallet or hammer. The harder and more often you work on the bar, the better the effect will be..

The larvae of shashel, bark beetle and termite are 85% moisture, have a loose structure and are not adapted to vibration. Water, vibrating from impact in their soft shell, simply tears them apart, leaving only mucus. Practice has shown that in places where larvae die, new insects do not start.

Microwave processing

In the moisture of which the larvae are composed, processed nutrients are dissolved, in particular protein, which coagulates when heated to 56 ° C. In other words, if the structure is only heated to 58–60 ° C, any larvae will die, since the protein in them will simply curl up. It is not possible to heat the structure by traditional methods, but modern technology makes it possible to do this using microwaves, which are used in the familiar household microwave oven.

To implement the method, you will need a working microwave oven, which will be irrevocably converted into a unit for combating woodworm. Considering the 100% efficiency of the method and its harmlessness, this is a small price.

Operating procedure:

  1. Cut off the side wall of the microwave oven opposite to the magnetron (usually it is on the wall with the control panel).
  2. Determine by ear and mark the location of the larvae with a marker.
  3. Install the device, directing the open part (socket) to the site of the larva injury. The gap between the socket and the wood surface is 20–30 mm. The device must be connected in an adjacent room.

Attention! Any protein, including the eye protein, is curtailed from invisible microwaves. Being in the same room with a working device is extremely dangerous. Being in the next room is absolutely safe.

  1. Set a timer for 20 minutes and go to an adjacent room to connect the device.
  2. Plug in the device and wait 20 minutes.
  3. After the shutdown timer has expired, move the device to the next preventive point.

The most effective method will be continuous prevention – wave treatment of the entire structure.

Fungus and decay are also dangerous, but their action takes a lot of time and appropriate conditions (heat, dampness, stagnant air). Therefore, natural defects develop much more slowly and it is possible to stop them in time..

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