Boring insects are insects which like to bore holes into wood, bark, woody steams, leaves, and other parts of trees, shrubs, and plants. They can be a serious problem in the garden and around the home, and they are found in every corner of the world, with hundreds of common boring insect species infecting everything from grape roots to books. Once these members of the insect world settle in, they can be very difficult to dislodge, making prevention of infestations a priority for people who want to avoid damage caused by these insects.
Some boring insects actively feed on the materials they eat into, while others bore holes to live, or to lay eggs. Adult insects and larvae may both engage in boring activities, and as boring insects settle in and begin breeding, they can create a population which will keep growing with every breeding cycle, causing the damage to spread very rapidly. In some cases, the damage is hard to spot or invisible because it occurs below the surface, while other insects leave obvious traces of their presence.
Some species are attracted to trees and plants which are already sick or diseased. These insects take advantage of the weakened state of the plant, and may hasten the damage along, making it difficult for the plant to recover. Others colonize plants and trees which are perfectly healthy. Signs of a boring insect infestation include yellowing and drooping of leaves, pitting and scarring on trunks and branches, thick secretions from the plant caused by burrowing deep into the plant, or obvious signs of insect activity on the plant.
In addition to colonizing living trees and plants, boring insects will also attack wood and wood products such as books, fences, decks, and houses. This type of damage can sometimes be very difficult to spot from the surface. Over time, the pests cause a softening and collapse, and in the meantime, they spread to other potential sources of food or nesting material in the area.
Some examples of boring insects include termites, powder post beetles, longhorn beetles, carpenter ants, and Asian longhorn beetles. Controlling these pests involves keeping homes and gardens as clean as possible, discarding or sequestering dead organic material such as pruned tree branches, and monitoring vulnerable wood, trees, and plants for early signs of infestation. If insects do settle in, the infected material should be removed and carefully discarded to discourage a spread to other areas.