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The Truth About Old House Borers

an old house borer on weathered wood

Although many people aren’t familiar with old house borers, they are a common household pest. Find out whether or not you should be concerned about them and learn what you can do to prevent them from destroying your home.

What Are Old House Borers?

Also known as long-horned beetles, old house borers are beetles that can grow up to approximately one inch long. The adults are brown to grayish-black and are much flatter than other species of beetles. On their wing covers, you can see fine white lines. They also have thin and very long antennae, which are often the first thing people notice about them.

The larvae are much different in appearance than the adults. For instance, the larvae are cream-colored. While other species of beetles have larvae with two eyes on each side of their head, old house borer larvae have three eyes on each side. This makes it easy to identify what type of infestation you have on your hands.

Are Old House Borers Dangerous?

Old house borers aren’t dangerous to humans or pets. However, that does not mean the pests are innocent. They can do significant damage to a physical structure, and that damage can be done in a short time.
The big problem with these beetles comes from their feeding habits. As soon as old house borer's eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the wood in your home. These pests tunnel through your wood and damage the structural integrity of your home. The adults lay eggs in cracks and crevices of the wood, so when they hatch, they're granted easy access to your structure.

Even one beetle can do some damage. However, you probably have more than one beetle in your wood. One female can lay as many as 200 eggs.

What Attracts Old House Borers To Your Property?

Old house borers have preferences for certain types of wood. They are attracted to fir, pine, and spruce woods. If your home is made from their preferred wood, you should be on the lookout for an infestation. The pests also take up residence in lumberyards.

You might think that old house borers would be more likely to reside in an older home. However, they prefer newer structures. They like the high resin content found in wood that was harvested within the past ten years.

Although house borers could just find their way into your home, they may also have been forced into it. Typically, the pests are already in the wood used to build your home. Wood that has not been properly dried could contain old house borer eggs or larvae.

Preventing An Infestation

There are a few ways you can prevent trouble with old house borers. First, you could use treated lumber when building a structure. When the wood is treated, it’s less likely to contain eggs or larvae.

Another prevention method is to control the moisture in your wood. Make sure that your home has the heating and ventilation necessary to keep everything dry. Additionally, you should remove cut or dead wood from your property. The longer it sits and collects moisture, the more likely you will encounter old house borers.

If you’ve seen evidence of this type of pest on your property, you should take action immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage they will do to your home. Unfortunately, the damage could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. You might not notice a problem until it's too late.

Removing all of the pests is a difficult job and requires the expertise of a pest control professional. Once they come out and assess the situation, a pest control technician can treat the problem. For more advice or assistance, contact the professionals at Aiken Pest Control.