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  • Powderpost Beetles Extermination

    General Pest Solutions, LLC is your Charleston SC Pest Control Choice to protect your home.


    What Is a Powderpost Beetle?

    “Powderpost” is the descriptive name given to several different species of wood-boring beetles that can infest homes. These insects lay their eggs in the pores of wood. Their larvae then hatch from the eggs, feeding on the wood and creating a series of tunnels as they go.

    Eventually, the larvae will mature into pupae and then adult beetles. Once the insects reach adulthood, they tunnel their way out of the wood, leaving behind a tiny exit hole. This life cycle can take two to five years to complete, meaning the larvae are literally eating the wood in your home for years.

    What Kind of Damage Do Powderpost Beetles Cause?

    Like termites, some powderpost beetles will feed on hardwoods — such as oak, ash, walnut, bamboo and hickory — and softwoods like pine. As the frames from most homes are built from softwoods, certain species of powderpost beetles can cause structural damage to houses.

    Other species of powderpost beetles will only eat hardwood, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. While you may not see structural damage from these species, it is possible to discover infestations in wood paneling, crown molding, window and door frames, plywood, hardwood floors or furniture.

    How to Treat Powderpost Beetles?

    After an inspection and identification a wood treatment with borates is the best treatment.

    The following points will help discourage powderpost beetle infestations:

    The first thing to do is reduce the moisture content in the wood, to less than 20% moisture. Moisture meters can be used to determine moisture level in the wood. Central heat, vapor barriers and good ventilation can help control moisture. Rough-cut lumber should be dried in a kiln to kill all stages of the beetle. Reducing moisture may not be enough to completely control powder post beetle infestations.

    Sanded and varnished wood will not be as attractive to adult beetles. They can not penetrate or find cracks and crevices in the wood surface in order to deposit their eggs.

    Don't store valuable items in sheds and barns. Wood boring beetles are common in these areas.

    Infested furniture that is unfinished (unvarnished, not painted, not waxed or not sealed) can be treated with borates. Borates will prevent newly hatched larvae from entering the wood. Infested furniture that can not be treated with borates can be treated in fumigation chambers. Fumigation chambers are used to fumigate infested furniture.

    If practical, remove infested wood. If not, use residual borate insecticides. Due to its long life cycle (12-18) months in the wood, you may see emerging beetles emerge even after treatment. The eggs and coming larvae will come in contact with the insecticide to kill them.

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