Insects of Wood Products
FIELD GUIDE TO INSECTS AND DISEASES OF ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO FORESTS

A variety of insects attack trees that are recently dead or dying. Losses from these insects are about 1 to 5 percent of the annual timber harvested. Some of these insects have previously been discussed (e.g., woodborers and ambrosia beetles) and others are described on the following pages.

Insects of wood products can either attack moist or dry seasoned wood. Those that attack moist, seasoned wood are usually symbiotically associated with protozoa, fungi, and bacteria that aid the insects in the digestion of cellulose and lignin. Some of these insects will continue to develop in the wood for several years after the wood has been dried and manufactured.

Some of these insects do not obtain their food from the wood. They tunnel into the wood to secure a sheltered base for foraging expeditions and a nursery for the young. Those insects attacking dry, seasoned wood also live in a symbiotic relationship with other microorganisms. These insects can breed successfully in wood with water content as low as 6 percent.

References:  15, 24