Treatment against wood-boring insects

Increasing the durability of wood

Wood is defined as the set of tissues from the roots, trunk and branches of woody plants, excluding the bark. Despite its superb qualities, it is not immune from deterioration with the result that the concept of natural durability appears as its intrinsic resistance to the attack of destructive organisms.

For this reason, the design of methods which make it possible to extend the maximum possible useful lifetime of wood becomes a necessity when such wood-boring organisms appear. Treatment against Wood-Boring Agents then becomes a  fundamental part of conservation, an indispensable skill necessary to preserve not only our historical heritage, for example, but also any other element or building using this material, whether in public or private use.

APINSA is a part of what is known as the Curative Sector and its work is aimed at providing protection from wood-destroying organisms of a biotic origin in wood which is in use (structural elements, furniture and decorative).

Once the wood is in use, whether forming part of the structure of a building or of a piece of furniture, for example, it is necessary to use other techniques aimed at both prevention and cure if the presence of wood-consuming organisms is detected.


At APINSA we design specific procedures for each case applying the following guidelines:

  • Analysis and identification of the problem.
  • ion of the appropriate product.
  • Carrying out the treatment.
  • Subsequent monitoring.

Wood used as a building material, as it is generally part of the structure, requires study prior to treatment. On the basis of the survey, the pathology, the possibilities of treatment, accessibility and costs of execution, the action plan is designed. Each case is different, but in general terms, it is possible to set down the following actions:

  • Surface treatment of the affected wood.
  • Elimination (whenever possible) of the layers of varnish, paint or any other covering which prevents or reduces the penetration of the protective agent into the wood.
  • Replacement (if possible) of those elements which have been most severely attacked and cannot be saved.
  • Opening of orifices in to then inject the ed product.
  • Surface application of the same product by brush or with a gun at the dose specified by the manufacturer.

It is important to be conscious of the most important characteristics of the wood-consuming organisms so as to be able to give the best possible service and treatment.


  1. Drywood termites: it is possible to detect their presence from the "pellets", which are little balls like grains of sand in different tones, according to the colouring of the wood, which from the exit holes which are bored at different points in the colony, forming small heaps which are easy to locate.
  2. Woodworm: this is easily detectable because the infested wood has an appearance similar to what it would look like after receiving a shotgun blast, that is to say a large number of small, scattered holes.
  3. The Great Capricorn Beetle: this is identifiable because it makes characteristic noises similar to crunching in to communicate.
    1. Fungus.
      1. Moulds and mildews: they are not considered to be wood-consuming.
      2. Chromogenous fungi. They are not capable of altering the mechanical properties of wood.
      3. Brown rot. The wood acquires a brownish colour and turns to dust with a little pressure.
      4. White rot. These fungi use the lignin, leaving an amalgam of whitish-coloured cellulose micro-fibres with an appreciable elastic strength.
      5. Soft rot. This type of fungus mainly attacks the cellulose in the secondary wall in damp circumstances, giving the whole a soft consistency.

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