Home Infested With Anobiid Powderpost Beetles? Check It For Excessive Moisture Content

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If you notice strange reddish-brown to black bugs in your home, you may wonder what they are and how to get rid of them. The pests you see are most likely anobiid powderpost beetles. Anobiid powderpost beetles are a species of wood-boring and eating pests that infect homes with high moisture content in the wood. The pests use damp wood to eat and breed. Unless you take steps to test your home's wood for dampness and treat it, you may have a difficult time getting rid of your pest problem. Here's more information about powderpost beetles, how to test your home for excessive moisture and what you can do to solve both issues.

What Are Anobiid Powderpost Beetles?

Anobiid powderpost beetles are attracted to both soft and hard wood species. According to Clemson University, the pests can infest any location in the house but tend to live in crawlspaces and other cool, damp places the most. The beetles also use your home's wood to lay eggs and raise their young, or nymphs. While adult beetles can damage your home by chewing holes into the wood, it's the nymphs that cause the most destruction. Young anobiid powderpost beetles actually use wood as a food and water source.

You might notice small pinpoint-sized holes in different locations around your home, including in the walls, floorboards and flooring. Female beetles can fly, which means that you'll probably see them darting around your house, especially if the wood becomes damp with moisture or water.

The university states that the beetles prefer wood with a moisture content of 14 percent or more. The problem with moist wood is that you won't see it in places you can't access easily, such as behind your walls and siding or beneath your carpets or tiles. But with some helpful information at your disposal, you can take steps to locate the damaged wood.

How Do You Know If Your Home Has Damp Wood?

The first thing you can do yourself is examine your crawlspace or basement for water or wet conditions. If you have a crawlspace, check the soil below it for moisture. You might also notice dripping water, which may come from broken or leaky plumbing. If you have a basement instead of a crawlspace, check the flooring for wet spots. Water may also seep through the joints of the basement's foundation.

Be sure to examine your siding for problems, especially if it's vinyl. Water can damage the siding over time, even if it has a protective sheathing beneath it. Strong winds can drive rain into places that may have gaps or openings, including the parts of the siding that overlap each other. The wooden walls beneath the siding can be damp from water as well. Unless you physically lift up the siding's panels, you may not actually see this problem. You'll need to take additional steps by having your home's wood tested for moisture.

Moisture testing is a unique technique used to locate high moisture content in wood and other materials susceptible to water damage. You can use a store-bought tester and do the job yourself, but you may not understand how to read or use the equipment correctly. In addition, it's important to use the right testing equipment and method for each area of the home. It's a good idea to hire a moisture testing contractor to do the job for you. 

For instance, a contractor may use a pin-type moisture meter to measure the moisture levels of your wooden floors, walls and ceiling. The meter can also pick up signs of dampness in the structures located on the outside of your home. If a specialist determines that your home has a moisture content of 14 percent or more in all of the test locations, you can take steps to replace the damaged wood, siding and other areas of the home. 

If you would like to know more about testing your home's wood for moisture, contact a contractor today.


3 August 2016

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