I'm cleaning up things and organizing what to keep and what to donate as I
settle my Mom's estate. Tonight I was finally tackling the garage, where she
stored her antiques and craft items until she got around to cleaning, restoring,
etc. I have found quite a few piles of what sure looks like powder post beetle
The garage is about 20 years old. Stick frame construction, then horizontal
nailers were put on to allow installation of board and batten siding. Siding is
rough sawn poplar as are the battens, and are well painted. The inside is raw
wood. Because of snake intrusion via warped battens, Mom had the inside sealed
with some 1-1/2 x 1/2 poplar strips to help keep out those of a scaley
persuasion. Spot checking shows that most of the beetle holes are in these
I will do some more research tonight, but I figured if anyone out there had a
solution it would be on this group. I had planned to fog the garage this
weekend, although that probably will not be much help with the PPB problem. Any
suggestions? The garage is actually mostly empty (at least compared to my
garashop). I will do some heavy inspecting in the daylight of the building and
contents. Just hoping for some (relatively) easy solutions to this problem, but
think it will actually involve many applications of a nasty insecticide.
Thanks for any input.
On Friday, September 25, 2015 at 7:40:17 PM UTC-5, Dr. Deb wrote:
I have found quite a few piles of what sure looks like powder post beetle
Yep, Timbor is what you need. Here, it costs $11, 1 lb bag. Mix it well
with water.... takes a while to disolve. Mix the amount for the area to b
e sprayed, but for $11, might as well mix the whole bag and wet everything
in the garage, furniture, etc. Wet all areas of exposed wood, even in the
interior of chest/cabinet carcasses, drawers. Might check the exterior wa
lls and roof eaves, also, while you're inspecting, if there's exposed wood,
there, though you said it's painted. The bugs avoid finished surfaces.
Life Cycle: The beetles (larvae) were in the wood during the winter and sp
ring. Late spring/early summer they emerge from the wood, as adults, and f
ly off. The adults will return to the same wood, the same area, in the fa
ll and lay more eggs, which mature/hatch and start the winter/spring stage
of the life cycle, again.
The piles of dust (larvae excrement): The active bugs push the dust out th
e holes. For really active cases, you can sometimes hear the bugs inside t
he wood. Vibraton of any boards, furniture, etc. can shake out the dust, h
ence a false sign that active bugs are in the wood.
Spraying now is a good plan. I usually treat my lumber cache every spring
and fall, coinciding with the emergence and return times. The Timbor wil
l dry to a crystalline form, in and on the wood being sprayed. If you spr
ay a high concentration mix, you'll see the tiny crystals, after the water
dries, on surfaces.
Your Mom's furniture may not presently have active bugs, but this is the ti
me of year they start returning. If you plan to keep any of your Mom's fur
niture, then once you treat and remove it from that location, the returning
adults won't know you moved it, so you should be safe as for as that colon
y of bugs, that reinfection. *Do you have your own colony PPBs, at your l
For active bugs in upholstered pieces, the furniture can be sprayed, but ta
kes a while to kill all the bugs, especially in areas hidden/covered by fab
ric, paddings, etc. Once the bugs have been eliminated, vacuum the uphols
tery. Otherwise, for immediate and thorough results, upholstered pieces a
For other bug concerns, I spray with 38-Plus, an insecticide containing per
methrin. .... lots of bugs, ants, etc., here in the subtropics.
Thanks for the info, guys. I am going to spring for the 25 lb container.
Besides the garage and the powder post beetles problem, I have two original log
cabins my Dad salvaged, moved and restored, that need to be treated at least
once a year. I think this Timbor is the same product Dad used to spray on the
log cabins to keep carpenter bees away.
Again, thanks for the help. I knew the denizens of rec.woodworking would have
Just a quick thanks to those who helped me out. I ordered the Timbor and it was
delivered only a bit more than 48 hours after placing the order. I was close
(as in about 300 miles), but they sure shipped fast.
I bought the 25 pound package and used 5 pounds to do the interior of the
garage, home of the powder post beetles. Coverage was a bit over 200 sq ft per
gallon. This took the better part of two days, mostly due to moving, sorting
and chasing all the stuff from one wall to the next and then back to the
original starting point, to get access to the siding. Reminded me I need to
purge my own garashop when I get back home. Actual spraying time for the whole
job was 60-90 minutes and about 15 minutes mixing time. Use hot water if you
I will use the remaining 20 pounds in the spring on the old logs and the porch
structures to ward off the carpenter bees.
Thanks again folks!
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