How to Get Rid of Powder Post Beetles

A powder post beetle is a pest that bores into wood. It’s sometimes called a “woodboring beetle” because it destroys wooden properties, like your cabinets, drawers, chairs, flooring and walls. Controlling and getting rid of powder post beetles can be a challenge, because you must also determine how severe the infestation is. You have to identify which areas are attacked, which spots have the potential to be infested, and how much you are willing to shell out for treatment. Let the following tips help you decide.

Five Ways to Get Rid of Powder Post Beetles

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Most powder post beetles enter your homes through flooring, paneling or furniture. They like to stay in finished wood products or lumber. Throw away any lumber in improper storage spaces, especially those which have been dried. Any wood with beetle exit holes should be thrown away too, because powder post beetles will surely come back and breed in them again. Prevention is a very important part of getting rid of powder post beetles, because the most serious types of pest infestations from powder post beetles come from using old lumber from piles of wood or from barns, and adding it to a part of the house or to panel a room.

Powder post beetles love to reproduce on unfinished wood, and they will most likely lay their eggs on bare wood. Wood only becomes safe from powder post beetles when it’s painted, so paint all wooden furniture and lumber in your house and make it a point to finish them completely. Do not leave a surface unfinished because when you miss a spot, it’s exposed, making it attractive to powder post beetles.

If you see a powder post beetle inside finished furniture, it means that you didn’t clean the furniture well enough before painting it. The pest was already there even before the wood finishing was applied. Clean the furniture before applying the finishing substance, because the pests will definitely reinfest the whole article. They will create new exit holes as they lay new eggs.

Using Insecticides to Treat Surfaces

It’s best to use insecticides on the surface of the wood, especially those that are newly-finished, to kill whatever pest may come out or enter the emerging holes. Some insecticides are designed to treat the surface of exposed wood. Brush or spray the insecticide on the affected areas. The chemicals will function as barriers that kill mature powder post beetles as they chew on your furniture. The newly-hatched larvae, on the other hand, are also killed as they try to bore into your chairs, flooring and panelings. Insecticides with borate are effective at getting rid of powder post beetles because they enter the wood, killing all the pests inside it. These insecticides also attack any pest exiting or entering the wood.

Borate is most effective when used on unfinished surfaces. Candidates for treatment include siding, decking, studs, subflooring, rafters, sills and joists. While it’s true that borate will not enter into varnish or paint, it can enter surfaces of wood like log homes, decks and wood siding, or anything that was previously treated with water-repellent stain, as long as pressure washing has already broken down the water-repellency before the treatment. You can use borate to treat floors infested with powder post beetles, but you will still have to do some sanding to make sure that the finish is completely removed.

Replacing Wood Goes a Long Way

Infestations are sometimes localized, meaning there are only a few exit holes in a sheet of paneling or a board. Localized infestation is easy to deal with because all you have to do is replace the sheet of paneling or the board. Once you see holes being in adjacent spots, you have to take additional action.

Controlling Moisture is a Must

Anobiids, an example of a powder post beetle, needs a moisturized environment for it to survive. Moisture in wood is always below 13% when it is summer and spring, so anobiids are nowhere to be found. During these seasons, mount a moisture barrier in the space where the pests crawl. It’s best to install the tool on infested buildings because you will surely find it hard to get rid of powder post beetles since they keep coming back.

You can decrease the moisture in the wood through ventilation. Foundation vents will do. A moisture meter is also effective since professional pest control operators use it. A moisture meter helps predict whether there is a potential reinfestation of powder post beetles.

Fumigation May Be Expensive, But It Is Effective

Before you resort to fumigation, make sure that you have the money. This is an expensive way of getting rid of powder port beetles because it rids a structure of widespread infestations. Sometimes, infestations get so severe that they spread between the floors, into the walls, and in different areas where removing wood is not practical. If you didn’t detect the infestations early on, and if you were not able to take control measures before the situation became severe, then the best thing to do is fumigate.

Fumigation of manufactured things like antiques and furniture is cheaper than fumigating the whole house or the whole building. Just place the furniture in vaults, trailers, under tarps, or anything that can maintain the high level of gas concentrations. You cannot do this by yourself, so hire pest control companies to help you get fumigate.

Last reminder: Always make sure that before you use a product, your country or state approves of it. Check with your regulatory official or local county agent before you resort to any of the chemicals mentioned. If you are allowed to use a pesticide, don’t forget to read the instructions because aside from killing the pests, you need to be sure that you do not get killed by the toxins.

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About the author

Nicole Harding

1 Comment

  • I am interested in killing powder post beetles which have infested oild, finished picture frames.

    I have removed the art work and want to treat the frames to kill the insects and prevent their return.

    What is the name of the best chemical to use, and the preferred means of applying it?

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