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02.11.2017
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About wood pests

Wood is a natural and renewable material that is degradable in nature. Decay of wood is caused by non-living (abiotic) and living (biotic) factors. When using wood for economic purposes, we want to suppress or stop that process as best as we can.

Among non-living factors of decay are: climatic factors (precipitation, UV light, temperature changes, etc.), air pollution (gas, solid particles) and fire. Abiotic factors affect especially aesthetic appearance of wood, rarely its mechanical properties. Graying of the surface of the wood for example is caused by solar or UV light, but does not affect its mechanical properties. Wood can usually be effectively protected from non-living factors of decay with suitable surface coatings such as Silvanol stain B.

Unprotected and surface-protected spruce board after a few months of exposure to sunlight and precipitation.
Much more dangerous, especially when using wood outdoors, are living factors of decay. These are organisms that feed on wood, or it plays a crucial part in their own survival. These include decay fungus (e.g. decay fungi, fungi modrivke, molds), insects (e.g. larvae of wood insects also called "Wood worms" and termites), bacteria and marine pests. In Slovenia, by far the most damage to the economic and finished wooden products and buildings is caused by wood-decay fungus. Due to favorable conditions (wood humidity above 20%, moderate temperatures), wood can decompose/decay within a few months. In this respect, Slovenia has one of the most unfavorable climates in Europe, as the conditions for wood decay are favorable most of the time (high rainfall, high humidity, moderate temperatures).

Wood-decay fungus in/on wood forming mycelium and also hats.


Larvae ("worm") and adult wood insect specimen (house longhorn beetle).

Not even modern wooden houses are safe from decay fungus, as we meet a number of cases where the fungi, due to minor or major errors in building/preparation process of wooden materials, completely destroyed the unprotected wooden structure within a few years after building got occupied. Reconstruction of such damage is extremely costly and time-consuming. To effectively protect the wood against the degradation from living (biotic) factors, we have to use effective basic protective agents (e.g. Silvanolin or Silvanol) and ensure their in-depth wood penetration. Appropriate method of protection and the depth of penetration of the protective agent are determined according to the exposure and features of the wooden product or object. Excellent alternative to the classical base preservatives for wood is Silvapro® thermal modification of wood.

Some examples of damage caused by fungal decay (rot wood)