Families of wood-eating insects : Who are these wood-eaters?
23 October 23
There are two main families of insects that attack existing wood (frames, joinery, furniture).
Social insects : Termites.
It’s a whole colony that attacks everything in the house that contains cellulose. A queen is responsible for the offspring. The workers went in search of food, digging, perforating, destroying wood, paper and fabric without respite. Soldiers protect these insatiable workers.
Termites do not tolerate light, so the damage they cause is not always visible until it is extensive, as the insect acts inside the material. It arrives through the floor and gradually rises into the home, well out of sight of the occupants.
Larval insects : Beetles, Lyctus, Beetles.
The adult insect (the perfect insect) lays its eggs in the wood, and the larva burrows and damages the wood to the point of total destruction before passing through the pupal stage and becoming a perfect reproductive insect in its turn. A new cycle can then begin. It arrives on the wood by air. In the cycle of a wood-eating insect, the larval period is the longest. Months or years as a larva in the wood, compared with a few days or weeks as a reproductive adult insect. The House longhorn beetle has a larval cycle of up to 5 years.
It is possible to protect wood from the arrival of these undesirable insects by applying a preventive treatment to the wood, which is what sawyers and carpenters do industrially on the structural timber offered on the market.
It is possible to intervene if the wood is attacked (exit holes) by applying curative treatment products designed to kill the larvae inside their galleries.
Each insect has its own distinctive features, such as the size and shape of the exit holes and the texture of the mould. Some species attack particular types of wood and not others.