|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.