Termites are easily the most economically significant of all wood-infesting insect pests, as subterranean termites alone inflict more than one billion dollars in property damage annually in the US. Wood-boring beetle pests are not usually as destructive as termites, but they are quite common, and the damage they inflict can be costly. According to a recent nationwide survey of pest control professionals, powderpost beetles and old-house borer beetles were both on the list of the top ten most commonly managed wood-infesting insect species in the US. Both of these species are particularly abundant in the northeast US where a large proportion of infestations are reported. Though not as common as many other wood-infesting beetle species, the northeast is also home to multiple weevils that are known to infest structural lumber within homes. Most wood-boring weevils attack only unseasoned wood, and those that attack seasoned wood are generally found only in wood that has become saturated with moisture. Pentarthrum huttoni, or the European wood weevil, is the most common and destructive of all wood-boring weevil pest species in the US.
The European wood weevil is found only in Europe, Canada and the northern US, especially in the northeast where they are most prevalent. Female weevils of this species deposit their eggs in cracks and crevices on the surface of lumber. Sometimes, females deposit their eggs in holes they excavate on the surface of lumber, and after depositing their eggs, females cover these holes with a white substance excreted from their ovipositor. Once larvae emerge from hatched eggs, they generally excavate tunnels parallel to the wood surface, but tunnel galleries that wind in different directions is not uncommon. Mature larvae excavate a pupal chamber within infested wood, and once adulthood is reached, the weevils carve out exit holes on the surface in order to take flight into the natural environment. Dead adults are often found on window sills and around lights, and exit holes on the surface of lumber are jagged and around 2 mm in diameter.
Have you ever found exit holes on wood in your home?