Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Powder Post Beetles


Mysterious pile of powder under a kitchen chair. 


What’s this wood powder under my chair?

Just when I thought termites were the only thing devouring the wood in our jungalow, recently, I discovered a little pile of wood powder under a kitchen chair. A mini Saharan desert forming. It was very fine, like baby powder, and definitely coming from one source.  Well, I chose to ignore it for a day or two. Maybe it was a hallucination induced by living in a jungalow. 

Predictably, a day or two later, the powder pile became bigger. I turned the chair upside down and yes, sure enough, there was a hole in it. About a quarter-inch in diameter.  So I took it outside and grabbed the Termiticide $45 bottle and went to town spraying all around the hole.

When our Akamai Pest Solutions termite guys came over, after they did some touch-up around the house, I asked if they knew about a bug that left wood powder.

The puka (or hole) that the beetle made. 

Of course they knew. It was the powder post beetle!  David proceeded to give me a little introduction.  Powder post beetles like older wood, and will eat newer wood only as a last resort.  Often, their company gets calls from Filipino families that have brought their nice old wood furniture from the mother country, furniture full of beetles in stasis. The beetles don’t necessarily start munching right away.  We’ve had this dining set for at least a few years and this is the first sign of any munching. The beetles are also, thankfully, easier to kill than termites. They live close to the hole and are sensitive to chemicals. So they can be killed with a strong dish soap, or a bleach solution, or the spray I used, which turned out to be overkill.  

Here's a ridiculously short video of David talking about powder post beetles while doing some termite treatment. A gecko is chirping in the background.


6 comments:

  1. Lyctids, or more commonly known as powderpost beetles, receive their names from a unique behavior that the larvae exhibits inside their galleries in the wood. The larvae will produce an extremely fine, dusty, or powder-like frass, hence their name, powderpost beetles. Powderpost beetles are all over the world, including the United States.
    powder post beetles control

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  2. Not sure why this comment is not showing in my screen: (copied and pasted from my comments section): "Lyctids, or more commonly known as powderpost beetles, receive their names from a unique behavior that the larvae exhibits inside their galleries in the wood. The larvae will produce an extremely fine, dusty, or powder-like frass, hence their name, powderpost beetles. Powderpost beetles are all over the world, including the United States."

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  3. Those things suck they will keep going and going watch who you deal with there is a company that has had years of troubles

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  4. Yes, bugs are so pernicious. Especially here where there's no winter.

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  5. what kind of spray did you use to get rid of the beetles?

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  6. We used something called Cedar Spray (www.cedarbugfree.com), a nontoxic based cedar oil that is marketed here just for bugs. But I've also heard you can use a spray of liquid dish soap diluted in water, that the soap dries the bugs and makes them dehydrate.

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