Wife bought a cabinet made somewhere far away and brought home in
July. The other day a small of pile of dust appeared on the top.
Cleaned it off without thinking much about it. The next day there was
more and on close inspection saw a small hole.
So how do we get rid of the worms?
If you can identify the critter - then do some web searches for
eradication / control.
Powder post beetles are one possibility.
They might lay their new baby right back into the hole from which it
emerged - so I'd start by filling in the holes ..
Also consider getting rid of the cabinet. Powder post beetle larva can
live for several years in the wood before emerging.
Sounds like a powder-post beetle.
Is the cabinet small enough that you can freeze it (like bring the
interior of the wood below 0F for at least 48 hours)? If so, that's the
If not and if you don't want to dispose of it you have two other
choices--you can hire a professional to fumigate it or you can do it the
A professional will wrap or tent it and treat it with a penetrating
insecticide--don't try this yourself because the stuff they use is quite
If you can't freeze and don't want to pay to have it treated, you can do
it the long slow way. The life cycle of the beetles ranges from about 7
months to about 3 years, so you have to let them all emerge and contain
them so that they don't reinfest the wood or infest something else.
Any kind of finish should prevent them from reinfesting--paint, shellac,
lacquer, polyurethane, anything that prevents the adult beetle from
directly contacting wood.
If it has a natural finish and you want to keep it that way, treat it
with a boron-based insecticide (boracide, etc). These are water based
and will likely raise some grain. This won't kill any beetles already
inside but will kill any larvae emerging from newly laid eggs.
Once you've done the surface treatment, and (If you used one) the finish
has dried, wrap it tightly in plastic, taping all seams, and set it out
of the way for long enough that you're sure all the beetles have emerged
The beetles that come out can infest other furniture, so don't just let
As others have said, it's likely a beetle rather than worm and what it
might specifically be from imported lumber is anybody's guess. Unless
the piece is/was expensive the suggestion to just get rid of it is
probably the most practical as the eradication process is probably more
trouble (tried personally) or expensive (professionally) than its worth.
The kicker is as the above article notes, that the freezing technique
requires quite cold temperatures and also for the temperature change to
be both rapid and long enough to ensure the entire piece gets that cold.
If there are fairly thick pieces such as the legs, etc., that can take
a while to achieve and is difficult to make happen unless one is in the
arctic or perhaps it's small enough to wrap in plastic and place in a
The "trick" of simply watching and finishing all surfaces means _ALL_
surfaces, including those that are hidden and may not be accessible
owing to the assembly leaving surfaces that are simply unaccessible but
those will still be easily gotten to by the adult beetles to lay further
generations of eggs.
If it's a bigger piece, I'd try asking the local restaurants
if I could put it in the walk-in freezer for a week. If there's
a place you go regular where the manager knows you, you might
If it's not riddled with flight holes. Buy some woodworm killer (can't
remember the active constituent) and inject it into the flight holes with a
hypodermic syringe and needle. I obtain these foc from our veterinary
surgeon, otherwise you might find a druggie with used spares.
If it is riddled with flight holes, buy some woodworm killer and drench or
bathe the affected area(s).
The small hole is where the insect has chewed it's way out and then flown
off to pastures new. That's why they're called flight holes.
If you're seeing dust, it is certainly an active infestation.
A little googling, or these:
might help a bit.
Just unearthed the gallon can of stuff that I've been using for about 20
years. Sadly now nearly empty. It's called Sadovac 35. Made by Sadolin.
561-2511 might be a reference number. Active constituents are Dichlofluanid,
Tributyltin and Gamma HCH. That's all gobbledegook to me.
I've been making, repairing and restoring wooden stuff for about 50 years
and I have seen some severe cases of woodworm. Touch wood, after treatment
with this stuff, I've never had a recurrance.
If you do treat it, with whatever substance you may choose, wear a mask and
do it outdoors. It is vile stuff !
Don't know if Sadovac 35 is still available. Elfin safety regs in Europe
have gotten rid of many useful chemicals.
could do what barn wood reclaimers do
it is safe and cheap an non-toxic
they use tarps and space heaters
keep the temps high enough for a couple of days to bring the temp of
the wood up and sustained and no more bugs
you have to monitor the temps and make sure they are not too high
or the heater might shut off or too low and the bugs survive
On Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 11:06:16 AM UTC-6, Electric Comet wrote:
Oh yeah, that's excellent advice. You can get it nice and hot under your t
ent (hot enough to kill a tropical insect) and ruin the finish on your piec
e. Along the way you will dehumidify your piece causing cracks in the wood
, joints to open and separate, glued areas to let go, etc.
It is one thing for you to persist in your odd observations and commentary,
but it is simply not right for you to post as an adviser of any sort when
you have no clue what you are talking about.
The guy that posted that question isn't a regular and may not know that man
y of your posts are nothing but pointless trolls. What if he took your adv
ice, that was total crap, and ruined his piece of furniture?
You should knock off you verbal diarrhea when you are responding to a serio
us question and save your normal disjunctive, non related, poorly worded, o
pinion posts based on your obviously profound lack of experience for those
that will tolerate them.
You can have a pro exterminator fume it and/or use Timbor, as directed.
If you're in Europe, I don't know if Timbor is available, there. Otherwise, look for a product that contains Timbor's active ingredient: http://www.biconet.com/crawlers/infosheets/TimborLabel.pdf
(European) Woodworm and (US) powder post beetles are essentially the same/same type of bug.
Strange I thought that nobody asked how big this piece is when they
posted about heat and cold as a solution. Just measured it. 75" L X
34" H X 21" D
Made completely of solid wood. Except for the 4 drawers in the center
which are made of 5/8" material, everything is 3/4".
Did I mention that it is a heavy sucker. Heck I couldn't even pick it
up without a lot of help.
One thing I don't understand is which way is the beetle going. The
sawdust is on top and the little pile is about the diameter of a
dime.. So how did the worm we saw get out. Or was it headed it.
I did read the info about Timbor and after reading that I wouldn't
touch it. My wife has recently developed a lung disease and is on O2
continually so Timbor is not an option.
If this new piece had the bug in it when purchased then I just might
make them take it back. It was purchased at Nadeau which is an
importer of furniture from India and Indonesia.
Thanks for attempting to help.
On Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 10:04:26 PM UTC-6, swalker wrote:
Rereading your original post....
"....brought home in
July. The other day ...."
That's at least 4 months difference. I'd suspect the woodworm/PPB problem
is at your residence, not originally from the seller's location. The woo
dworm's life cycle dictates its emergence/presence on/inside the piece.
Have it fumed by a pro exterminator. For that size piece, it may be able
to be fumed at your home (outdoors), rather than you having to bring it to
You can try wetting it, generously (bathe it), with naptha.... OR (outdoors
, well ventilated area) with lots of lacquer thinner. *Lacquer thinner li
kely will affect the finish, though. Generally, a potent solvent (or its
fumes) will kill most any insect. Gasoline (inexpensive, comparatively) w
ould work, but the gasoline smell remains.
If there is no hole in the upper surface, I would direct my eye directly
upwards from the pile, and look for a tiny dark hole where the sawdust is
really coming from. It could be termites unfortunately.
That is very true for subterranean termites. Drywood termites will open
surface holes to kick out frass or droppings, then cover them up again to
maintain humidity. The filled hole will have the raw wood color. I have
seen an active frass-hole in drywall, and witnessed the cover-up.
Subterranean termite frass is usually caked in their excavated cavities.
Drywood termite frass is dry and pelletized. Borer larva frass is also
pelletized but usually larger pellets (depending on their size). Fine
lightweight (airborne) sawdust can be byproduct of tunneling by any of these
or even a Carpenter bee.
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