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 Post subject: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:27 am 
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Location: Skagit Co WA
I think some powder post beetles have set up house keeping in one of my porch columns. Noticed this on the hand rail:

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evidence.jpg
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Above is a small opening that looks like their front door:

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Attachment:
closeup.jpg
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A quick search on line seems to reveal several treatment options that appear to be boric acid based(?) but they all come in large size containers. And they ain't cheap! Any suggestions on how to dissuade these little buggers from sharing my deck framing?

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 Post subject: Re: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Hi Dennis,

There's a product called "Term-out" that comes in a spray can, and it has a little hose with a needle so you can shoot it into the holes... There's a similar product called "Time out for termites", and it has the same hose/needle, but I think Term-out is stronger.

I've used it many times, and it does work, but it's nearly impossible to treat every single tunnel. Fumigation, or replacing the whole post, is the only way to be sure you got all of them.

I looked close at the pictures, and I think I see a lot more "pinholes" in that 4X4. If you try to treat it yourself, it'll get very tedious trying to hit every single tunnel. And, you'll never be sure if you got them all.

How hard would it be to replace that post? Since you would be able to do it yourself, it might be cheaper than fumigating. The advantage of replacing it, is that you'll be able to see if they moved into other pieces too. Also, when future generations come around looking for a new home, they won't be able to just move in as easily.

I'm not exactly sure that the Term-Out will kill powder post beetles, but I'm guessing it would. I only dealt with powder post beetles once. They were in a bed frame, so I wound up taking it to a place where they put it inside a container to fumigate.

Sometimes they use heat to kill infestations too.. iirc, about 130-140 degrees, for 24 hours, would work too. But again, I'm not sure about those beetles.

Good luck to ya Dennis, cheers,

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:37 pm 
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Thanks for the reply and the suggestion of Term-out, Jim.

WRT replacing the column ... really REALLY a big deal since it supports one corner of the roof, has the handrail attached, along with the downspout and deck coating that's flashed up onto the bottom end. And no, it's not something I would tackle by myself at this stage but I do see your point. I think what you're seeing as add'l pin holes are reflections off the semi-gloss paint that's fairly fresh what with the raking sunlight when I took the photo.

I'll locate a source for that product and cross my fingers.

Thanks again.

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 Post subject: Re: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:28 pm 
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Hey Dennis,

I would check with your homeowners insurance company, but I'm pretty sure that the only cure for powder post beetles is excise the damaged wood until you have clean margins. You also want to get on this quickly because they can move faster than you'd think.

Good luck,
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:32 am 
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Greetings, Tom -

Do you think, based on the photo evidence, that I've made the correct diagnosis? I'll contact my HO ins. to see if there's any coverage. Frankly I doubt it.

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 Post subject: Re: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:51 am 
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Now that I look closer at your first picture Dennis, I think that might be "dry wood" termites..

Powder post beetles leave a different kind of doo-doo... theirs is like powder...

In that first pic, it looks more like sand... That's termite doo-doo.

When you touch it, is it like tiny ball bearings? If it is, it's probably termites.

"Dry wood termites" are not nearly as bad as a subterranean termites. It would take them many years to compromise that post...

But, I think it would be worth it to have a local exterminator take a look at it... It's all about nipping it in the bud.

I could write a long post about this, but the bottom line is that when the damage is visible, its only the tip of the iceberg. Termites don't like light, so you have to watch out for the tiny pinholes, and I'm pretty sure I see a few of them in your pics.


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 Post subject: Re: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:06 am 
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Hey Dennis,

I'm a bit out of my depth here, but it sure looks as though something is eating you out of house and home. I'll defer to Jim's expertise on this one.

Good luck,
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: powder post beetles
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:30 am 
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Thanks again for the comments, folks. I'll be contacting an terminator ... er, exterminator. I guess Arnold's retired now.

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