Longhorned Beetle Control
Longhorned beetles get their name from their antennae, which are often much longer than their bodies. About 1,200 species of this wood destroying insect live in the United States and Canada. This section will focus on longhorned beetle species that attack structural wood, and/or species that commonly get into people’s homes.
Depending on the species, adult longhorned beetles range about 3/8 to 1” long. They’re usually oblong or elongated and somewhat cylindrical. Longhorned beetle antennae are very long; often much longer than the rest of the beetle’s body. Longhorned beetle elytra (hardened front wings or wing covers) usually cover the abdomen.
Depending on the species, mature larvae also range from 3/8 to 1 ½” long. They have an elongate, cylindrical body with an enlarged, rounded thorax. Larvae tend to be white to ivory-colored. They either don’t have legs or they have very short, spine-like legs.
Female longhorned beetles lay their eggs in wood or bark crevices during the spring, summer, or early autumn. They deposit eggs either one at a time or in small groups. Larvae hatch a few days after mothers lay their eggs. After finding a suitable entry point, beetle larvae feed near the surface of wood, where the wood’s protein is concentrated. As they grow, larvae bore deeper into the wood.
Longhorned beetle larval stage can last from a few months or up to several years. Development speed depends on the nutritional value and moisture content of the wood larvae consume. When larvae feed enough, they pupate to undergo complete metamorphosis. Pupation takes place in a cell near the wood surface. The timing of adult beetle’s emergence depends on the species and environmental conditions. Outside, they mate, lay eggs, and die. Indoors, the only two species that can re-infest dry, seasoned wood are the old house borer and the flat oak borer. Most roundheaded borers require at least 2 years to complete their life cycles (adult to adult). The old house borer requires at least 3 years; the flat oak borer requires 1 to 2 years.
LONGHORNED BEETLE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Adult longhorned beetles often emerge from firewood after unsuspecting residents bring the wood inside. One way to avoid this problem is by waiting to bring in firewood until just before you burn it. Fumigating for longhorned beetles is rarely necessarily, except in cases of widespread infestation. You may also want it in you can hear larvae chewing incessantly, or simply for peace of mind.
Professionals usually treat for longhorned beetles by filling exit holes and then refinishing the damaged wood. If longhorned beetles penetrate linoleum, floor tiles, or roofing, it will usually have to be replaced or patched.
Log homes often require fumigation. Fumigation procedures should only be performed by professionals and in conjunction with appropriate moisture control and maintenance procedures. Professionals will usually use a boron-based pesticide to dissuade re-infestation and prevent wood decay. After introducing the pesticide, we’ll seal exit holes to ensure longhorned beetles can’t re-enter structures.
If you think you might have a longhorned beetle infestation, give Plunkett’s Pest Control a call right away. We can identify your beetle infestation and begin control treatments immediately.