Dry rot is a type of fungus that can grow in wood and cause your wooden structures and furniture to degrade and fall apart. If allowed to progress, dry rot will spread extremely quickly, leading to severe and expensive damage to your home. This fungus often goes unnoticed in the early stages since it does most of its damage out of sight.


Thankfully, a couple of warning signs will help you determine if you have a dry rot problem in your home. Identifying the problem early means you can contact a pest control specialist to apply an anti-fungal treatment and eliminate dry rot before it causes any problems. Here are five signs to watch out for.


1. Crumbling Texture

One of the clearest signs that a wooden structure has been infected by dry rot is if the wood itself becomes brittle and crumbles when you touch it. Dry rot can cause wood to begin to slowly fall apart, causing boards to shift and furniture to sit unevenly.


2. Strange Smells

Dry rot, like all fungi, gives off a strong smell of mustiness and dampness as it slowly eats its way through your wooden structures. The smell of rotting wood may be somewhat sweet, but it points to a serious danger to your wooden structures. If left unchecked, the rot can cause serious damage to your wooden decks, floors and supports.


If you notice a musty smell around the wooden areas of your home, you should keep an eye out for any of the other warning signs mentioned here. Contact a pest control specialist at the first sign of dry rot to prevent any damage from occurring.


3. Spore Dust

As dry rot is a fungus, not an insect or a mammal like other type of common pests, it gives off a dusty film when it infects a large area of wood. This type of dust is orange or brown and can vaguely resemble sawdust from a distance.


Any signs of spore dust around the wooden structures or areas of your home points to a fairly well-established dry rot infestation, which will require professional treatment.


4. Gray Fibers

Another easy-to-spot sign of dry rot in your wood are the strands of gray spores that appear on your wood. These strands of fibers are visually similar to cobwebs, but they are much thicker and denser.


Like spore dust, gray fibers will only be grown by the dry rot fungus when it has seriously spread throughout a wooden structure. That means it is common for these fibers to be coated in a thin layer of spore dust, giving them a layer of orange dust on the surface.


5. Fungus Growths

Late-stage dry rot that has become seriously established in the wood of your home can grow two main types of fungal bodies, both of which point to the fact that your wooden structures are likely going to need to be replaced.


The first is a white, puffy fungus that grows in rippling layers along your wood, which can cover large expanses of a wooden surface as it eats away at the interior.


The second is the more easily recognizable mushroom-shaped, brown growths, which then begin to produce spores that spread to other pieces of nearby wood. These mushroom-shaped growths will only occur if your dry rot infestation has become particularly large. They should be treated by a pest control professional immediately.


For any inquiries that you might have about dry rot, or any other pest control topics, please feel free to contact our team of highly trained professionals at 49er Termite and Pest Control.