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diyer_12 03-18-2012 06:20 PM

Infested hardwood flooring (how to prevent re-infestation)

Have a cherry (I think) solid 1/2 inch high X 2 1/4 inch wide plank, hardwood floor on second level (above grade) of a 25 yo house, which is
probably the original one and was put in during house construction. The hardwood floor has visible signs of infestation which are concentrated
in few major areas, with numerous "exit holes" about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in diameter as well as chewed off wood (please see attached pictures).

"This is the largest visible infestation area (all others are much smaller than this)."

Hardwood floor (from one side) is adjacent to 2 patio doors that are also probably original (25 yo as well) and leaky. Any time there is a
significant rain / snow water leaks through the patio doors and needs to be wiped off from the hardwood floor, also penetrating below the
hardwood floor into the sub floor as evidenced by the hardwood floor cupping in several places. Also, lifting 2 registers very close to the
patio doors (which allows seeing the inside of the floor) shows the bottom of hardwood floor having visible water damage.

"Cupping and infestation"

The problem has deteriorated slowly over the last 9 years, so I am pretty sure these are not termites (as otherwise the entire house would have
probably collapsed by now), but rather some wood bug / beetle of some sort. Local fumigation was done last year, which was not effective as
the number of "exit holes" and chewed off areas has increased since then.

"Infestation under the carpet"

The hardwood floor and the 2 patio doors are old and need replacement anyways. Having done research online I think that I'll go with either
classic or wood (top 1/6 of an inch is real wood, everything below is high temperature wood composite) laminate as replacement and not solid
hardwood, specifically given the infestation history and the fact that laminate flooring is specifically engineered against infestation to prevent re-infestation (just in case some eggs still remain in the house after the removal of the hardwood floors).

I have few questions pertaining to this that I would very much appreciate feedback on :

1. What kind of bug / beetle is this exactly ?

2. After I remove all of the currently infested hardwood floor :

a. should the entire (or some parts of it) sub floor be replaced ?
If yes, should I pre-treat the new sub floor with any special chemical, and which one I should use for this particular infestation ? If not,
(and assuming all or part of the sub floor are in decent shape without any water damage), is it sufficient to just treat the sub floor with the
chemical (and which one I should use for this particular infestation) to ensure that all eggs (if any) in it are dead ?

b. should I also treat all of the walls, trim, etc. with the same chemical ?

c. There is a stairwell completely covered with carpet, going to the third level with wooden hand-rails whose base and carpet are sitting on
the hardwood (very close to one of its infested areas). As far as I can say the wooden hand-rails have not been infested with this. Should the
wooden hand-rails and carpet be treated with a chemical ? If yes, which one ? Should the carpet be replaced and sub floor below it treated with
the chemical to ensure that all eggs (if any) in it are dead ?

d. There is other wooden furniture in the room (sofas, table, tv stand, dining table and chairs, etc.) which as far as I can say have not been
infested with this. Should they also be treated ? If yes, with what chemical ?

3. Any specific recommendations on the type of classic or wood laminate to install to prevent the re-infestation ?

4. Before I install the new classic or wood laminate (instead of the old infested hardwood) should I pre-treat it with any chemical to prevent
re-infestation ? If yes, which one ?

5. After I remove 2 patio doors, should I treat the door jambs, any visible insulation, etc. with any chemical ? If yes, which one.

6. The 2 new patio doors I'd like to install have aluminum clad on the outside and wood (probably pine) on the inside (which is untreated, but
the manufacturer includes a kit for treating and finishing it). Is there any additional chemical that I have to pre-treat the door with to prevent re-infestation ? If yes, which one ?

Thank you very much

joecaption 03-18-2012 06:28 PM

Those are powder post beatles holes. It should have been treated long ago with Boric acid from under the house, no form of fumagation will have any effect.
They live inside the wood and bore through once a year to mate then bore a new hole to get back in.
There is no fixing the floor you have now, it need to be replaced.

diyer_12 03-18-2012 06:42 PM


Thank you very much for your quick answer.

>>There is no fixing the floor you have now, it need to be replaced.
Yes, I completely agree. Question is, what steps do I take on
ensuring that re-infestation does not occur on the new flooring I am
going to put in ? Specifically what do I do to the sub floor, the new flooring
,the walls, the carpet, and the existing wood furniture in the house ?
I assume it needs to be treated as well ?

joecaption 03-18-2012 06:49 PM

Once the floorings out you can check the subflooring and floor joist from under the house.
Any real exterminator (not Terminex or Okin) can treat this for you or a simple pump sprayer with Boric acid and hot water will treat it.
This has been going on for so long now I would be surprized if the subflooring is not eatten up by now.

diyer_12 03-18-2012 07:37 PM

Thanks again.

>>simple pump sprayer with Boric acid and hot water will treat it.
Is one spraying application enough to completely "treat" it or do I need to do it a few times ? I guess as I am spraying I should put a bucket below it so that I would expect to see eggs / adult bettles washed out ?

>>This has been going on for so long now I would be surprised
>>if the subflooring is not eatten up by now.
Do these bugs eat the sub floor / joists as well ? I thought they only eat the hardwood, and not the composite material from which the sub floor / joists are made from ?

This a 3 floor townhouse, so below the 2nd floor (where this infestation is)
there is 1st floor which is still above grade. In order to check the floor joist of the 2nd floor, the ceiling of the 1st floor would need to be opened (which I can do on my own).

Also, do these beetles usually have an outside nests / colonies ? I am
somewhat surprised that they infested 2nd floor hardwood floors (about 1.5 floors above grade). I suppose they could have came through the deck and leaky patio door.

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