Biology: Powderpost beetles are so called because in high numbers they are able to turn the inside of a piece of wood into nothing more than a mass of fine powder. These wood destroying beetles can do significant damage to log homes, furniture, wood floors and structural timbers in your home. Powder post beetles are small (1/8 inch) and the adult beetles are seldom seen. Most of the life cycle is spent in the grub or larvae stage eating wood. Damage is done by the larvae as they create narrow, meandering tunnels in wood as they feed. This stage can last between 1-10 years, depending upon a number of factors including species of beetle, type of wood infested, age of wood, moisture content of wood and air temperature. People do not realize that the wood is infested until the adult beetles emerge from within the wood. The exit holes are very small, about the size of a pin head. Newly emerged adults mate and lay eggs on or below the surface of bare (unfinished) wood. The eggs hatch into tiny larvae which bore into the wood, emerging as adults 1-10 years later. Infestations develop slowly, but wood can be reinfested year after year. Homeowners are more likely to see damage than the beetles themselves, because the adults are short-lived and are active mainly at night. When the wood is tapped with a hammer, dust will fall from these exit holes. Depending on the species, powder post beetles can infest hardwoods such as cherry and oak, or softwoods such as poplar, pine and bamboo. If you find a beetle infestation in a piece of oak furniture, this same species of beetle would not infest your pine floor but might infest other pieces of your oak furniture.
Powderpost Beetle Control In Log Homes
Exit holes from the powderpost beetles emerging may not be seen for
several years after the log house is constructed. Although it is possible that the
beetles entered the logs after the house was built, it is much more likely that the logs
were already infested when purchased from the factory. We strongly suggest that all
timbers in a log home be treated before assembly. It is much cheaper to treat
preventively and of course it is also much less labor intensive. The best product for this
wood treatment is Bora-Care.
Boracare is an
odorless, boron based material that is mixed with water and applied to the wood by brush
or a hand held pump sprayer. When used as directed, is safe for indoor and outdoor use.
Always read and follow label instructions. For more
detailed information about treating and maintaining log homes with Bora-Care, go to Bora-Care and Log Homes article.
Powderpost Beetle Control In Floors
The floor must be stripped and than painted or sprayed with Boracare. Be sure to check the sub flooring for damage also. If the home sits above a crawl space, it is suggested that the under structure be treated with Boracare also. After 72 hours of drying the floor can resealed.
Powder Post Beetle Control In Attics and Crawl Spaces
At times, powderpost beetle infestations are so severe that a complete
fumigation is recommended by a licensed pest control operator. For light to moderate
infestations, or as a follow-up to fumigation, Boracare will do an
excellent job. In attics and crawl spaces you may find old house borer damage
also. This beetle is much bigger than the powderpost beetle and their exit holes are
will kill these also.
This gets a little tricky. You can not apply the Boracare to the
outside of the furniture, because the varnish will not allow
penetration. You can carefully brush a very concentrated solution of Boracare inside and
underneath drawers for partial control. The best solution is stripping, applying Boracare and than
re-varnishing. Another solution is applying Jecta Gel. This a very
concentrated form of Boracare in a gel base that is delivered by a plastic syringe.
Drill small holes inside the legs of the furniture, inject the Jecta Gel and than reseal
the holes. The Jecta Gel
will spread in all directions from the applied site, penetrating deep into the wood to
protect against all wood destroying organisms. Individual exit
holes can also be treated one at a time with a good crack and crevice aerosol like Invader C & C aerosol.
Order Bora-Care and Jecta Gel Products
Mix one part Boracare to one part water. Each gallon of finished mix will
treat up to 500 square feet.