Managing Wood-destroying Pests

A new publication offered by Penn State Extension’s Pesticide Education Program provides recommendations for preventing and controlling infestations of wood-destroying insects.

Although primarily for pest-control professionals, author Steven Jacobs, senior extension associate in entomology, says Wood-destroying Pests provides information useful to homeowners confronting problems caused by the pests. The publication covers the benefits of wood pests in forests, types of wood-destroying organisms, how structures get invaded, and ways to tackle those problems.

Subterranean termites cause more damage to buildings in the United States than any other insect. Pennsylvania is within a region of moderate to heavy termite infestation. The publication goes into detail about what these termites look like, how they interact with one another, and the kind of damage they can cause.

General preventative and corrective control measures for subterranean termites also are addressed. For preventative treatment there are preconstruction and postconstruction measures.

Cover of Penn State Extension's "Wood-Destroying Pests" publication.

The publication also offers information about soil treatment outside the house, as well as in basements and crawl spaces. Also covered is the use of radiant heat, termite baiting, and wood treatment.

While termites pose the biggest threat to buildings, other pests are covered, including eight types of wood-destroying beetles, wood-infesting beetles, bees, ants, and wasps.

“Proper management of wood-destroying pests requires the professional to be well versed in the signs of infestation and capable of determining the species of insect involved,” Jacobs says. “Misidentification of a pest and an incorrect management strategy could result in prosecution for misuse of a pesticide.”

This publication is available for $12 (plus shipping), and can be ordered by calling toll free 877-345-0691.