IRG Documents Database and Compendium

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Wood decay in Danish buildings
1985 - IRG/WP 1261
At Technological Institute identification of fungi and advisory activity concerning repair of damages has taken place since 1935. Statistical analyses based on material from 1982 and 1983 are compared to earlier investigations worked out by L. Harmsen. The material shows that building traditions influence the diversity and frequency of fungal species. Many fungal damages in the last decade have showed that it is very important to use timber in a suitable manner not forgetting old building traditions. The conditions of fungal attack must be analysed and followed up by improvement of constructive and chemical wood protection.
A P Koch

Proposing innovative technologies in the control of dry-wood insects
1985 - IRG/WP 1262
This paper discusses the social-economic problems involved in the biological evaluation of dry-wood insects with particular reference to Nigeria. It also discusses prospects of applying non-conventional methods of control against such insects, integrating these with the conventional preservatives as a control strategy. This discussion follows attempts made to identify the major dry-wood insects in Nigeria as a base for raising cultures required in screening wood preservative materials. Hitherto, this allimportant aspect of wood science suffered underserved relegation in Nigeria. The commonest dry-wood insects identified so far include two species of dry-wood termites (Kalotermidae) Cryptotermes havilandi (Sjostedt) and Cryptotermes brevis (Walker); and beetles Lyctus africanus Lesne (Lyctidae), Minthea rugicollis (Walker), Bostrychoplies cornutus Olivier, Xyloperthella picea Olivier, Heterobostrychus brunneus Murray, Xyloperthodea nitidipennis Murray, and Apate spp. (Bostrychidae).
M O Akanbi

A preliminary assessment of the costs of termite activity in Australia: A discussion paper
1983 - IRG/WP 1207
A preliminary assessment has been made of the economic importance of termite activity in Australia and this paper is intended to serve as a starting point in discussing this topic. Damage to timber in service represents their greatest area of economic importance in urban and rural environments. Costs resulting from termite activity include timber replacements in buildings, railway sleepers, transmission poles, termite surveys, insecticides and wood preservatives. Indirect costs are briefly discussed, as are the beneficial roles of termites in our environment.
J R J French

Wood attacking insects in urban areas in Sao Paulo State - Brazil
1985 - IRG/WP 1267
From 1974 to 1984 the investigators of Wood Division (IPT) inspected, for insect attack, more than 1,500 buildings of several kinds: commercial, residencial and historical buildings, houses and industries. In all cases, IPT was asked to give advices on control and erradication. During that time three papers concerning this problem were published (Cavalcante, 1976; De Lelis, 1978; Zanotto & Canedo, 1982). This paper, comprising partial data from the above papers, lists insects found, estimates the costs necessary to control them, and reports the most common factors that have been found favouring infestations in the inspected buildings.
P A Zanotto, M D Canedo, D A T Lelis

Phoracantha semipunctata Fab. dans le sud-ouest Espagnol: Lutte et dommages
1985 - IRG/WP 1250
L G Tirado

Trend in entomology of wood in use and in storage in Nigeria
1978 - IRG/WP 180
The current and potential impact of biotic agents of wood deterioration in Nigeria is reviewed, with emphasis on the insects and marine borers, their recognition and mode of damage. Some essential areas have no doubt been neglected and these are highlighted, while future lines of approach are outlined.
M O Akanbi

Über Wespen als Holzverderber - Schäden, Ursachen, Bekämpfung
1978 - IRG/WP 189
Observations and a number of actual cases over recent years show that wasps have been associated more frequently with damage to wood. The nature of such damage and the agents involved are as follows: 1. Decay following infestation by Woodwasps (Siricidae). 2. Punctate marks caused by superficial gnawing and also boring into wood by larvae of the Dock sawfly (Tenthredinidae). 3. Damage due to superficial scarification by Vespids (Vespidae). Little is known as yet of the causes of this damage and its connection with the insects. A better understanding would help in preventing damage to construction components as well as the loss of wood and would benefit the reputation of wood as a building material. Methods of prevention and control and of remedying the damage are mentioned, based on tests and practical experience.
S Cymorek

A case study on quality control on telephone poles as a cost saving tool in Tanzania
1987 - IRG/WP 3418
A sample of 28 CCA treated Eucalyptus poles from a lot of 2,000 poles awaiting delivery to the field, was studied to reveal the quality of treatment. Results showed a product of very poor quality. Average figures for penetration and retention were 8.4 mm and 2.2 kg/m³; these results are 66% and 91% below the required standards, respectively. Consequences of such results are estimated to amount to losses of billion of shillings.
K K Murira

Termite standards questionnaire survey. Second Report
1989 - IRG/WP 1395
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the survey continue to be summarised. Again, highlighted in this second report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of the termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage

Conservation of wooden cultural property
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30038
A survey of the conservation of wooden archtitectual monuments, art objects and archaeological finds is presented. Each of the three areas has typical conservation problems which reqire the use of selected wood preservatives and consolidation agents. Furthermore specific protection and consolidation methods are necessary. A precise damage diagnosis with non-destructive testing methods is the first step in a careful conservation work.
A Unger, W Unger

Description of the damage produced by xilophagus Curculionides in Spain
1989 - IRG/WP 1408
Cossoninae are a reduced subfamily of Curculionidae. These xilophagus insects produce significant damage in Spain, mainly affecting old buildings. Their activity is a real problem for the preservation of the country's historical-artistic heritage. The three Cossoninae species most widespread in Spain are described for the first time as well as the conditions under which they develop. The first results on their physiology and specific characteristics are also included. Finally, the interrelationship with other xilophagus agents (fungi and insects) which are common in Spain, is analyzed.
E L Rodríguez Trobajo

An investigation concerning Camponotus spp. distribution and damage in buildings in Sweden
1985 - IRG/WP 1248
This is a report of an investigation by a Swedish insurance company on the occurrences of damage by Carpenter ants during 1974 to 1981. The distribution of damage in walls, roofs and floors of both permanent homes and summer-houses has been assessed. It is concluded that the increased frequency of attack is becoming economically serious.
V Butovitsch, K-J Hedqvist, C Tornberg

The effect of sapwood on the rate of deterioration of fence posts
1986 - IRG/WP 1277
In order to evaluate the effect of the presence of sapwood on the rate of deterioration of fence posts, 30 specimens with and without sapwood of Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus paniculata, Eucalyptus saligna and Eucalyptus tereticornis were exposed in three test sites in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The results of the inspection carried out in 1985, after 5 years of exposure, are reported in the present paper.
M S Cavalcante, G A C Lopez, E S F Mucci, R G Montagna

The benefits to New Zealand of boron salt treatment of Pinus radiata
1992 - IRG/WP 92-3692
The historical reasons for New Zealand adopting boric salt diffusion of Pinus radiata are summarised, and present day processes and their associated costs are given. The biological hazards of using Pinus radiata untreated are then argued, using endemic fungal and insect species as examples, as well as a discussion of the risks from species that may yet be accidentally introduced into the country.
D J Cross

Report of an investigation of damage by wood ants in buildings in Sweden
1976 - IRG/WP 148
Wood ants in buildings occur everywhere in Sweden, particularly in maritime districts and in vicinity of larger lakes. The damage caused by Camponotus herculeanus does not differ from that caused by Camponotus ligniperda. The former occurs in all Sweden, the latter only in southern Sweden. The damage is to be found almost exclusively in dwelling houses (week-end cabins and "all-the-year round" houses) in or close to forests.·Buildings of all ages are liable to wood ants attacks. All wooden part of houses, particularly the walls, can be infested. Sound timber is much more desirable to the insects than wood that is infected with wood-rotting fungi. The construction of the building can sometimes affect the frequency of the damage. This is the case particularly with cabins which lack basements. The decisive part in wood ant migrations from forest to buildings is the distance from the edge of the wood: the shorter this distance the greater the danger of invasion.
V Butovitsch

Wood preservation in the Australian beekeeping industry
1988 - IRG/WP 3473
This paper reports the results of a survey of Australian commercial beekeepers working 200 or more hives in June/July 1985. Nine hundred and forty seven apiarists were asked to participate and to provide information on their wood preservation methods, painting procedures and maintenance of bee boxes. Three hundred and eighty-four apiarists returned completed questionnaires (41%). The main wood preservatives used are copper naphthenate solutions (45%), linseed oil (8%), copper chromated arsenate (3%), hot wax (9%), copper naphthenate solution in linseed oil (3%), linseed oil/wax mixtures (3%) and paint (23%). The majority of apiarists (96%) paint treated bee hives, but there is considerable variation in wood preservative treatment procedures and paint application. Most wood preservative treatments (95%) are of the 'do-it-yourself' variety, radiata pine being the most utilized timber. The bottom boards of bee hives are considered the most susceptible to wood decay and subterranean termite damage, as are cleats, stands or any wood in ground contact.
P J Robinson, J R J French

Practical testing of wood preservatives to prevent weathering damage and infection by micro-organisms on spruce and pine
1989 - IRG/WP 3530
Brush application, is generally used to prevent wooden window frames from decay caused by influence of weathering and fungi. Accordingly 10 boards of pine (Pinus sylvestris) and spruce (Picea abies) were treated with 10 commercially used wood preservatives. The efficiency of fungicides by using chiptest and blue stain test (EN 152), the effectiveness against weathering as well as the course of colonization of microfungi were measured on boards, that had been hurted by sawing. Results after one year's exposure showed that neither the normally required amount of 250 ml/m² nor the effective depth of penetration of the fungizidal equipment had been realized by using brush application. The smaller the permeability of the coating system, the more likely ideal conditions for the growth of fungi (e.g. basidiomycetes) are provided, answering hurtings of the coating and moisture contents of more than 30%. The variety of fungi (on pine 32 and on spruce 17 species) can be a result of anatomical differences and distinguished compounds of the wood species. After 24, respectively 36 weeks of exposure the frequent occurrance of basidiomycetous yeasts (Cryptococcus albidus, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa), blue stain fungi (Aureobasidium pullulans, Hormonema dematioides), Epicoccum nigrum, Alternaria alternata and Phoma species was noted.
R Gründlinger, O Janotta, H Melzer, K Messner

Termite standards questionnaire survey - First Report
1988 - IRG/WP 1354
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the termite standards questionnaire survey are summarised. Highlighted in the results of this first report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage

Damage by wood-attacking insects in buildings in Sao Paulo State - Brazil. (including errata slip)
1978 - IRG/WP 175
From 1974 to 1978 up to 602 buildings attacked by wood-boring insects were inspected by Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas in Sao Paulo State - Brazil. Damage was caused mainly by subterranean termites, dry-wood termites and wood-attacking beetles. Up to US $ 1000,000 is the amount needed to control such insects in the buildings inspected
A T De Lelis

Introduction to keynote: Perspective in urban termite biology and management in Southeast Asia
2012 - IRG/WP 12-10786
This keynote lecture will provide a perspective on the pest status of termites in Southeast Asia, the damages they cause to the urban structures, important biological and behavioural characteristics, detection methods and the various management strategies available.
Chow-Yang Lee

Influence of bark damage on bluestain development in pine logs
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10197
Mechanized harvesting of conifers can lead to extensive bark damage, with the resulting wounds providing suitable entry points for bluestain fungi that are not associated with bark beetle vectors. However, the amount of bluestain colonisation can vary greatly between the different types of wound. To evaluate the effect of wound type seven different types of wounds were artificially created on freshly felled logs of Corsican pine. These ranged from barely visible punctures, to the removal of large strips of bark, simulating typical harvester damage. The logs were left in the field exposed to natural inocula of wood degrading fungi and assessed after 6 and 12 weeks. Results indicated that surface area of injury was not the best parameter for predicting the rate and extent of staining. Minor disruptions of the bark e.g. crushing and punctures, were sometimes associated with substantial amounts of stain development. Wounds with flaps of loosened but still attached bark were especially susceptible to bluestain colonization, but additional damage to exposed wood surfaces did not result in more stain. Stain development was strongly associated with the edges of wounds where the bark and exposed wood met. Excluding potential bluestain vectors such as bark beetles and weevils by enclosing the logs in netting did not markedly reduce stain, suggesting that micro-arthropods such as mites play an important part in disseminating bluestain fungi to wounds produced during harvesting and log extraction.
A Uzunovic, J F Webber, D J Dickinson

Envelope treatment to protect softwood timbers from damage by subterranean termites
2003 - IRG/WP 03-30313
Two aboveground field trials were conducted in Australia to determine the effectiveness of envelope treatments of deltamethrin and permethrin for the protection of softwood framing timbers against termite damage. Radiata pine Pinus radiata D.Don and slash pine Pinus elliottii Englem., were treated with Tanalithä T (a novel solvent) to achieve 5-mm-depth envelopes. Details of a field trial against Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt) in the Northern Territory and another in southeast Queensland are presented. At the conclusion of the 12-month field trial in the Northern Territory, all timber specimens had evidence of contact by C. acinaciformis. All envelope treatments protected the test specimens. The novel solvent system appeared to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the deltamethrin and permethrin envelope treatments. Similar results were obtained from the seven-month field trial in southeast Queensland using a different test method against C. acinaciformis and Schedorhinotermes seclusus (Hill). Termites did not cause damage to test specimens via untreated cut ends. Consequently, there appears to be no need to apply a supplementary treatment to exposed cut ends of envelope-treated softwood framing material, with regard to C. acinaciformis or S. seclusus.
B C Peters, J W Creffield

How to keep coated wood structures sufficiently dry to avoid damage caused by rot
1991 - IRG/WP 2376
During the last ten years, a new type of problems with wood rot has emerged in Scandinavia. Thousands of houses have been damaged by wood rot attaching to the exterior wood panel. This paper provides an overview of finished and ongoing work in order to identify the cause of these problems. In field tests, the moisture conditions were measured in panels coated with different paint systems. The influence of the panel structure and end-grain sealing on the moisture balance was also studied. The results from these tests show a large difference in the moisture balance between panels with different exterior wood coatings. In laboratory tests, the transmission of water vapour through paint films was measured using a modified cup method, which provides more realistic conditions for coated wood than the common cup method. One interesting observation made in the studies reported here is that latex paints seem to be much more permeable at high levels of relative humidity than earlier research has shown.
S Hjort

An overview of termite control in buildings in Kenya
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10242
Termites are well known pests of wooden products and structural timber and are responsible for considerable damage in the building sector in sub-Saharan Africa. A general diagnostic survey of damaging termite species in agriculture, forestry and buildings was carried out for the first time in Kenya (1991-1992). Termite species implicated in damage to wooden materials and structural timber in buildings included Ancistrotermes spp., Odontotermes spp., Allodontermes spp., Pseudacanthotermes spp., Macrotermes spp. and Cryptotermes leylandi ( imported). A pilot questionnaire survey of termite control in the building sector (January-June 1992) indicated that a wide range of timber products in buildings is prone to termite attack. Annual losses due to termites were estimated to be between US $ 8-20 million. Until 1993, aldrin, dieldrin, chlorpyrifos and lindane were the termiticides of choice in building protection and general termite control. However, there has been a general trend to discontinue organochlorine termiticides. Pre-site inspection and treatment is normally a requirement in the building sector. A detailed follow-up survey has been planned for early 1997 to update the data got from the earlier pilot survey. Future termite control research in Kenya should look into more environmentally sustainable chemical compounds and biopesticides such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae.
G R S Ochiel, W Gitonga, L Toft

Inhibition of wood decay and termite damage by calcium precipitation
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30111
Fungal decay of wood in service, especially brown rot, results in billions of dollars (US) of losses annually. Recent environmental restrictions, both U.S. and international, are limiting or eliminating the use of broad spectrum biocides for wood preservation, primarily due to problems with disposal. In order to design new, environmentally benign methods for control of wood decay fungi, it is essential to understand the precise sequence of biochemical events as wood is colonized. The production of polygalacturonase (PG) and hydrolysis of bordered pit membranes during incipient brown-rot decay has recently been described by our laboratory. One key to pectin hydrolysis by plant pathogens has been shown to be fungal production of oxalic acid which lowers the pH of the substrate and chelates calcium ions. Production of oxalic acid may serve a similar role during incipient wood decay as calcium oxalate has been visualized by scanning electron microscopy during both brown-rot and white-rot decay. Therefore, it was hypothesized that in situ precipitation of existing calcium ions in wood may prevent the cascade of biochemical events involved in colonization of wood by brown-rot fungi, expecially hydrolysis of bordered pit membranes. Preliminary experiments in our laboratory have shown that brown-rot fungi, white-rot fungi, and termites are inhibited from effecting weight loss of wood following pretreatment of wood blocks with the selective water soluble calcium precipitating agent N,N-naphthaloylhydroxylamine (NHA).
F Green III, T A Kuster, L Ferge, T L Highley

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