Professionals and Amateurs Together

Preventing Powder Post Beetle Infestation

Question

How do I prevent a powder post beetle infestation of stored wood?

Answer

Garrett Hack replies: This is a good question that I have no answer for. I’ve had issues with sugar maple, butternut, white pine and sometimes cherry sapwood. When I see the telltale powdery frass I brush on mineral spirits, making sure some gets into the tiny bug holes. I have read dilute borax in water also works. You will reduce infestations by removing all bark and milling your wood late winter or early spring.

Richard Oedel replies: Powder post beetle needs some nasty chemicals to really eliminate them completely. But any borate-based treatment will work. Timbor and BoraCare are two brands. Remember that the life cycle of these pests is long (12-18 months) so you will see activity when they bore out of the wood, but then the contact with the borate will kill them, and you will see fewer in the next hatching. Plan on a three year period to completely eliminate them.

Tags: Wood