Wood Worms in Decks

Written by ciele edwards
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Wood Worms in Decks
Over time, wood worms can destroy a wooden deck. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Although synthetic materials are available for adding a deck to your home, natural wood boasts a rustic beauty that few synthetics match. Using natural wood for your home's deck, however, has its drawbacks. A wood worm infestation can leave your deck riddled with holes -- making it vulnerable to wood rot and other insect infestations.

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The Facts

The term "wood worm" applies to any species of beetle larvae that feeds on wood. More than 300 species of beetles lay their eggs in wood. While outdoor wooden structures, such as decks and patios, are particularly susceptible to a wood worm infestation, wood worms can appear anywhere -- including indoor furniture.

Considerations

You can have wood worms in your deck for years and not realise it. The female beetle injects her eggs into the wood, and the larvae hatch and feed for several years before they reach maturity. Once the beetles reach maturity, they bore out of their wooden home -- leaving behind small holes. These small holes are often the first indicators that you have a wood worm problem.

Prevention/Solution

Using hard wood, such as oak, for your deck helps prevent wood worms since beetles typically search out softer woods for their eggs. If you already have wood worms, most hardware stores sell both sealant and sprays that kill beetle larvae. If you aren't comfortable doing the job yourself, pest control companies can also treat your deck with chemicals that will kill the wood worms and protect your deck.

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