Do They Cause Damage?
The OHB can cause significant damage to structures, their damage usually occurs in basements and crawl spaces. They are a major pest of log homes, where you are more likely to see adult beetles after they emerge from the logs. The larva may spend 3-7 years feeding on the wood prior to pupating near the surface and emerging as an adult.
Do I Have An Infestation?
Usually the first indication of an infestation is finding damage or emergence holes in the wood. Holes will be oval on shape and ½”- 3/4” long. Frass, a sawdust-like material, may be seen streaming from the holes. Adults tend to emerge June-July. A ticking sound (larva feeding) can sometimes be heard if it is very quiet.
What Can Masters Touch Do?
Localized infestations, one or two boards, which has not spread, can often be remedied by removing the affected wood. Widespread infestations, especially those in log homes are best treated by performing a structural fumigation.
How Can You Help?
OHB need 10% or higher wood moisture content for an infestation to be sustainable. Using a properly sized and functioning dehumidifier in the basement and crawl space can make these areas less attractive. Repair any roof leaks. Properly treating and sealing the exterior of log homes is helpful in preventing or at least delaying attack by OHB.