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Pittsville 07-21-2012 03:18 PM

Powder Post Beetles in Freshly Cut Timbers
Last week we had two 6x8x18 timbers cut from some loblolly pine to be used as sill beams. (These timbers will rest on top of 2x pressure treat) The timbers have been sitting in an unfinished kitchen. (We now know that we should be storing the wood outside to air dry)

Both timbers have some slight surface mold, which we can handle. What has us concerned is the large number of pinholes that we just noticed in the wood. This morning, about 6 of the holes had a good amount of frass beneath them. We suspect powder post beetles.

Our question is, will treating the timbers with a borate solution be enough to eliminate the beetles? We spent a good amount of money on these timbers, so we'd like to salvage them if possible. If using them is a bad idea, we'll accept our losses and try to get kiln dried or pressure treated lumber instead. We certainly don't want to encourage an infestation. We're hopeful that treating the wood will eliminate the threat. What do you all think?

Pittsville 07-21-2012 03:32 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I've attached pics of the frass and the holes. I also found a couple of dead/dying beetles near the timbers. I took the best closeup shot that I could with my phone. Could these be ppb?

oh'mike 07-21-2012 06:31 PM

We have several bug men and bug ladies here---

However--check in to the woodworking site at the bottom of the page--go to 'forestry and milling'

There you will meet the cutters that deal with powder post beetles on a regular basis---Mike---

oh'mike 07-21-2012 06:32 PM

Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

Pittsville 07-21-2012 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 971200)

Excellent! Thank ya kindly!

oh'mike 07-22-2012 06:20 AM

PA Bugman---and others---this has become a competition --

No one next door has come up with an answer---someone here needs to beat the gang at Woodworking talk---

gobug 07-22-2012 08:22 AM

Powder post beetles are difficult to eradicate. Since they will attack just about any wood, your furniture could be attacked.

I treated for them in my pest control business a few times in 25 years. Once was oak flooring in a mountain home. Another was in a family heirloom dining room table. I also did a few solid core doors.

I used BoraCare by Nisus. I drilled 1/8" holes halfway through the wood spaced about 2 inches apart. Each hole was then injected with a needle tip on my sprayer. If the hole penetrated a larval cavity, it filled the cavity. Because the product is boric acid in a glycol base, it is absorbed through capillary action into the wood. It lasts decades if done well.

You have possibly exposed a lot more than your timbers. The timbers should still exit the premises. Nissus does make other products which may assist you. Call their technical support line. BoraCare is not cheap.

There is a water soluable product, I don't recall the name (IIRC the AI was also boric acid), but I used it on wooden floors for mites that got into the cracks between.

Good luck

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