Wood Destroying Organisms Clearance

Clearance certificates for wood-destroying insects are commonly required for property transfers in the coastal provinces of South Africa

Banks often require entomological clearance certificates in areas with known woodborer problems before they will finance a property transaction. The sales agreement between seller and purchaser will normally include a clause that requires the seller to produce a valid Certificate of Clearance for Wood-destroying Insects.

What Pests are Involved

Only wood-destroying pests of economic significance are at issue. These can be divided into two broad groups, namely wood-destroying insects and wood-destroying fungi. Most property sales agreements require that only wood-destroying insects are reported and eradicated.

Ultimately, this means that we inspect for wood-destroying insects that have the potential to cause significant damage to dry seasoned timber. These insects fall into three broad categories - subterranean termites, drywood termites and beetles.

Not all termites and beetles can attack dry seasoned timber. The most common problem wood-destroying insects in Kwazulu Natal are:

  • Natal Subterranean Termite - Macrotermes natalensis
  • Natal Subterranean Termite - Macrotermes natalensis
  • West Indian Drywood Termite - Cryptotermes brevis
  • Common furniture beetle - Anobium punctatum
  • Powder post beetle - Lyctus brunneus
  • European house beetle - Hylotrupes bajulus

Meranti commonly has some minor damage by Pinhole Borer, but this dies out during the curing process and is not a threat to seasoned timber.