Any dwelling not only withstands the effects of weather conditions, but is also attacked by various living creatures – birds, rodents and insects. Some of them create minimal inconvenience for the owners of the house, others are a real disaster. The greatest harm is caused by insects and fungi that destroy the tree. They rank second in damage inflicted after fires. The most voracious insects are termites, or white ants, which exist in warm climates. Termites live in colonies and find their food by drilling the ground. If you find one of the canals made by termites in your home, then immediately invite a specialist in their destruction.
Less dangerous, but more widespread are various beetles drilling a tree. The larvae of these beetles, known as woodworms, cause great damage; the worms have been drilling the tree for several years. Serious problems are caused by a fungus called wet and dry rot. As the name suggests, wet rot appears in wet places. As for dry rot, dampness is also required for its formation at an early stage. If the house is damp and poorly ventilated, then the fungus can spread throughout the home in as little as three months..
From all that has been said, it is clear how carefully you need to monitor the house and immediately eliminate any signs of dampness. If you find woodworms or fungus, then you should immediately take disinfection measures. While you can try this job yourself, it’s best to go to a professional..
Most damage to a tree is caused by grub or other insect species. Three types of such insects are described below. Often the presence of boring insects is caught but a faint rustling that accompanies their movement in the tree. All insects have the same life cycle (see below), their development is stimulated by the presence of moisture. Some species of beetles reproduce at an accelerated rate if the tree is already damaged by fungus; other insects destroy any wood and in any condition. Insect tracks can be clearly seen in the summer: tiny holes in the tree and small heaps of wood dust. A thorough examination of the house involves rearranging furniture and household items, so you can take advantage of this opportunity and at the same time put things in order in your home. Pay special attention to areas where moisture may develop, such as around bathtubs or sinks. When you find woodworms and signs of rotting wood, use a special substance called fungicide and insecticide. Hopelessly damaged areas of wood should be cut and burned immediately. Insecticides can be poured into the holes found, brushed or sprayed over the wood. For best effect, apply two coats of the chemical; the second – after absorbing the first.
These substances have a pungent odor, therefore, ensure good ventilation of the home. Put on old, unnecessary clothing, respirator or mask, gloves and goggles. Do not use rubber gloves, as some chemicals will destroy this material. When working in the attic, wear a safety helmet to protect your head from accidental banging against the rafters. Since insecticides are flammable, extinguish any fire (including cigarettes) and keep them out for the next 48 hours after treatment. Have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case; if electric lighting is required, then connect the lamp to an outlet located in another room.
Life cycle of tree-destroying insects
From egg to adult insect. The life cycle of insects is long, but always consists of four stages. First, the female lays eggs – up to 80 at the same time in cracks, cracks, various holes. After 3-5 weeks, larvae appear from the eggs, which immediately begin to drill into the wood. Moving in the tree for 3-4 years, the larva destroys about 50 mm of the tree per year. After that, the larva makes a cavity near the surface and turns into a pupa. After 6-8 weeks, the adult beetle leaves the tree in search of an insect of the opposite sex; after that they mate and the life cycle repeats.
Three kinds of beetles
Furniture beetle. It is 3 mm long and dark brown in color. Adult insects leave the tree in late spring or summer; on warm days, they can be seen on walls, ceilings, or glass. After leaving the tree, the beetles live for 2-3 weeks, which is quite enough for mating and laying eggs in a large area. The holes in the wood are about 1.5 mm in diameter; to find them, you should carefully inspect furniture, floors, baseboards, rafters.
Powder beetle. This beetle got its name from the ability of the larvae to grind wood into a powder, like flour. Adult insects are dark brown in color and reach 6 mm in length. Their life cycle is relatively short – less than a year. The holes from these beetles reach 1.5 mm in diameter. Appear in late spring and summer, fly at dusk. They prefer freshly cut wood, therefore they are often found in wood-burning warehouses.
House beetle. Has a length of 12 to 25 mm; painted in gray-black color. Appears in the summer months, leaving an oval hole in the tree. The life cycle reaches 10 years, so the larvae can destroy the tree from the inside before you discover their presence..
1. Diagnosis of damage. To find out how badly damaged the wood is, try poking it through with a screwdriver. If the wood has retained its hardness, then you can leave it, subjecting it to appropriate processing. If the tree is pierced with a screwdriver, then seek the advice of a specialist: most likely part of the wood will need to be cut and destroyed.
2. Cleaning the tree. Wearing goggles and a respirator, clean the wood surface with a stiff brush, as dirt will impair the effect of chemicals. Remove dust with a vacuum cleaner, cover water containers and electrical wires with plastic wrap. Then remove the heat insulators between the beams; insulating materials should be replaced after the chemicals have dried (this is about a week).
3. Application of the chemical. The figure shows how to spray a liquid chemical on the surface of a tree; to do this, use a garden sprayer. If you need to treat a small area, it is easier to use a brush or brush. The liquid consumption is 1 liter per 4 square meters of surface. After absorbing, apply a second coat, wait 24 hours. If you plan to install new wooden parts, then subject them to the same treatment.