Author Topic: powder post beetle question  (Read 7840 times)

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Offline rockchuk

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powder post beetle question
« on: May 25, 2005, 05:26:07 PM »
First off, kudos to the owner of this site -- truly a marvelous job!  The information is fantastic.  Thank you.

I am remodeling here on the southern oregon coast, and on one side of the house (bearing wall-15+ years old house), about half the studs have powder post beetle problems.  The pic below shows the worst and the 'best' of the problem.  

Am I correct in saying that this was probably a one time infestation and that these will not get worse?  I don;t see any recent evidence of 'bug work', but then again, I am no expert.  If the condition is stable can;t I just nail a stud beside the old buggy one rather than pulling the entire stud and replacing?  I LOVE REMODELING!!   :-X :'(

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated....
Thanks very much.....
Rockchuk

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2005, 08:26:52 PM »
Hi rockchuk.

I have a few posts in my cabin with powder post beetles - mostly under control now.

They don't need much moisture but don't especially care for bad tasting wood.  So even if there were a few left, a good thing to do is get a garden sprayer, mix up a borate solution and spray it on real good before you put on the new stud, then for good measure spray the new one too.  I've read that the current hatch will hatch out but they won't like the borate on the wood so will leave or get sick and die.  Just stuff I read for my cabin.  More info on the link below.

Borate powder is about the safest bug treatment you can get -- Think Boraxo --.

The place I get it is The Log Home Store via UPS out of Oregon.

http://aloghomestore.com/borates.shtml

« Last Edit: May 25, 2005, 08:38:02 PM by glenn-k »
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Offline rockchuk

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2005, 12:18:49 AM »
Wonderful info....thank you Glenn!   :) :)

Offline Daddymem

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2005, 02:17:15 AM »
Borax is great for flea infestations too!
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2005, 03:02:07 AM »
Do you think it would work on the wifes cat, daddymem ??? --although I'd hate to try to hold her to bathe her with it-- the cat that is- ;D
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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2005, 04:21:10 AM »
Frontline is still working for fleas.  And in an environment where the fleas aren't in egg and pupae form all over everywhere, it lasts for a couple of months.  But getting the fleas off the animals is only a small part of the solution.

Out of the carpets can be harder.  I haven't had the problem since I moved here (plenty of animals, but keeping the fleas under control, and I didn't start out with any), so I'm not sure what the current house treatment of choice is.

If you really wanted to know.   ::)

Offline Daddymem

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2005, 05:16:27 AM »
Yeah worked great on ours.  We get horrible sand flea infestations around here.  We read about the Borax solution and tried it...it worked wonders.  What we did was vacuumed the entire house, picked up everything from the floor and spread Borax all over everything, removed the pillows from the couch and all.  As soon as I started spreading the Borax, the fleas were like rats fleeing a sinking ship...it looked like I was wearing a pair of living socks!  We spread the Borax around with a broom and left the house overnight.  The next day I came in and vacuumed every square inch of the place....it took me 4 hours but there were no more fleas after that.  It worked in the carpets too.  How it works:  the most important thing in an insect's life is water.  This has to do with a high surface area to mass ratio for smaller things than larger things.  Larger surface area to mass ratios means water is lost faster.  The Borax dries them out...adults and larva.  The vacuum gets the eggs.  
For the cats, we powdered them  and locked them in the bathroom (vinyl floor).  Your cat may get an allergic reaction or get really dry skin so just watch it.  
Diatomaceous (sp?) earth is another control...the sharp edges of this stuff cuts up the insects to further expedite their loss of water, thus killing them.
Tea tree oil may work too...but some cats can be allergic to that.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2005, 08:14:15 AM »
Thanks, daddymem.  We have the sand fleas at our other place- it's a sandy area and has always been a problem.  
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Offline rockchuk

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2005, 01:39:24 PM »
Say Glenn...regarding BORAX.....our local lumber yard knew little or nothing about what it can do.  They wanted to sell me the green copper stuff....inside the bedroom walls?... 3 inches from our heads while we sleep?  Right.

Anyway, I bought a box of 20 Mule Team and called the company and they would'nt tell me anything either.  I guess I will just dissolve as much of it as will possibly dissolve into water and then spray the heck out of everything.....

I imagine this is simplistic thinking on my part, but at least it will give me a sense that I "did something"....ha!

Anyway, why wouldn;t this work....it is the Borax itself that kills afterall........yes?

As always, thank you for your help.....

Offline Daddymem

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Où sont passées toutes nos nuits de rêve?
Aide-moi à les retrouver.
" I'm an engineer Cap'n, not a miracle worker"

http://littlehouseonthesandpit.wordpress.com/

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2005, 02:09:57 PM »
I assume it has similar qualities.  I don't know much more about it  than what I read on the Log Home store site.  I also picked up some powder that was boric acid - stores have it for silverfish, cockroachs, ants etc.

Some of the difference between the borates and the poisonous treatments is that the borate is more water soluble so if it gets washed off it may have to be re-treated.

Here is a quote from the Homesteading Today forum:
Borax is slightly different than regular boric acid, I don't exactly remember the difference. There are several boric acid compounds. Some are very soluable and others not as much. The timbor product is totally soluable in water. I will do a little research and see if I can find the answer. I believe it has to do with the free boron, which is the ingredient that does the job. The key would be whether it dissolves. You want to saturate the the mix. I will also check on the percentage of boric acid in the ethylene glycol. I believe boraxo soap has lots of other stuff in it and may not be as good. It doesn't take a lot to preserve the wood. If you use the Bora-care product, it can be sprayed on the surface until it is wet, thats all.
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Offline rockchuk

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2005, 02:19:55 PM »


Quote
http://www.rotdoctor.com/L/HouseL/hQA039.html
http://www.durable-wood.com/pdfs/borate-eng1oct02.pdf
http://www.askthebuilder.com/printer_272-StopTermites-Soak-Wood-with-Safe-Borates.shtml

RC: These are very helpful....thank you, Daddymem.  This seems to answer my question if one can 'do-it-yourself':

"When diluted 1 lb. borate to 1 gallon warm water and soaked into wood, it is an excellent fungicide and insecticide with relatively low toxicity. "



Offline Daddymem

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2005, 02:22:48 PM »
If you do use it, make sure you wear gloves, that stuff will really dry your hands out.
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Offline rockchuk

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2005, 02:26:11 PM »
Quote
I assume it has similar qualities.  I don't know much more about it  than what I read on the Log Home store site.  I also picked up some powder that was boric acid - stores have it for silverfish, cockroachs, ants etc.

Some of the difference between the borates and the poisonous treatments is that the borate is more water soluble so if it gets washed off it may have to be re-treated.

Here is a quote from the Homesteading Today forum:
Borax is slightly different than regular boric acid, I don't exactly remember the difference. There are several boric acid compounds. Some are very soluable and others not as much. The timbor product is totally soluable in water. I will do a little research and see if I can find the answer. I believe it has to do with the free boron, which is the ingredient that does the job. The key would be whether it dissolves. You want to saturate the the mix. I will also check on the percentage of boric acid in the ethylene glycol. I believe boraxo soap has lots of other stuff in it and may not be as good. It doesn't take a lot to preserve the wood. If you use the Bora-care product, it can be sprayed on the surface until it is wet, thats all.

RC: Glenn, from what I'm reading the product is pretty much just borax in water.  The water is apparently the carrier.  If it is all this simple, and if it's this cheap....then I would think any builder would want to spray the heck out of all interior lumber before outside siding and inside sheetrock goes on.  It could save a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth down the road.


Offline Amanda_931

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2005, 06:07:23 PM »
The "Queen of Clean" is very hipped on Borax.

http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/lv_household_tips/article/0,2041,DIY_14119_3330428,00.html

Boric Acid is more likely to be a very weak organic acid (that you can use in your eyes) than Borax.

If you try the diatomaceous earth be sure and use food grade not what is called "pool grade."  The latter is quite poisonous.

http://www.ghorganics.com/DiatomaceousEarth.html

"This DE is not the same thing as the DE used in swimming pool filters. Pool grade DE is treated to form crystalline silica which will produce silicosis in mammals. Pool grade DE should never be used for pest control. "  Site also lists a lot of uses.  Just sent it to a neighbor whose plants are plagued by flea beetles.  And the whole site looks pretty interesting.

Have a friend on another list who uses the food grade DE for lots of things--keeping insects out of the animal food, keeping worms out of the dogs (both by putting a handful of DE into a bag of kibble), flea control--outside and on the dogs--keeping the dog poop from smelling, etc. (unless she was using lime for that last--either would make sense--she keeps both on hand.)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2005, 06:29:45 PM by Amanda_931 »

Offline rockchuk

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2005, 06:19:30 PM »
Hi Queen.   :)
Say, if this borax is so amazing, and it seems it is, then why isn;t it standard practice to pour a handful of it on the bottom plate between all studs before buttoning up the walls?  This should take care of all potential ant and cockroach problems for years (as long as it stays dry).  No toxicity and no place for critters to nest (except spiders...but then again, maybe spiders wouldn;t want to hang out where insects are so scare....).
What you think?

Offline Amanda_931

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2005, 07:01:36 PM »
No, no, I'm not the Queen of Clean--or much of anything else except maybe Catalogs--only two today, often many more.

You could try it, of course.  Probably not be easily available to the nasties, as opposed to under the kitchen cabinets.  Wouldn't hurt.




Offline Shelley

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2005, 07:31:52 PM »
Don't know much, but did get PP beetles in one house 'cause I thought the odd amount of bark was charming.

Here's what my bug guy said.  PPBs lay eggs under the bark.  Hatch, flourish and live.  But, only that one season.

If you have bugs in 2x4s, sure they're PPBs?  Just the odd, random thought.
It's a dry heat.  Right.

Offline Amanda_931

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2005, 04:40:46 AM »
Apparently there's a whole bunch of things that are called powder post beetles--in different families.

I've got the bark ones in the treehouse.  Don't know if these are true "powder post beetles" (which I think attack dead wood) or left-over "bark beetles" which hit living trees.

But apparently there are powder post beetles who like conifers--your basic pine 2x4.


Offline Jimmy C.

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2005, 04:44:29 AM »
Quote
Anyway, I bought a box of 20 Mule Team and called the company and they would'nt tell me anything either.  


See if you can find a product called "Roach Proof"

I think it is 100% boric Acid..
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Offline JRR

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2005, 08:21:10 AM »
Walmart carries the "Roach Away" which is also 99% boric acid.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2005, 08:46:20 AM »
I think the boric acid stuff would be best also compared to Boraxo- if you don't have time to get the stuff that is made for it.

Also as Amanda said  there are several types with some of them not happy at stopping the first year.  I have some with a few still trying after 3 years.
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Offline rockchuk

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2005, 01:21:45 PM »
Just a quick note: The borax dissolves quite fast in water when it is heated up.  In fact, spraying it warm seems to be best.  When the solution gets cold again then crystals form....which might raise hob with the sprayer.  :)
Also, one would assume that hot solution would tend to penetrate the wood better than cold.

Offline Amanda_931

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2005, 04:54:44 PM »
The bark beetle sources mostly say that spraying only works for insects that are looking for a place to chew in and lay eggs.  Need to make that outer surface totally unappetizing to her.  Time of year is very important, for instance.

While they are two different kinds of insect (probably five or six different families here), I'd think that surface application when the wood is likely to be attacked is going to be what you need to do.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: powder post beetle question
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2005, 09:54:20 PM »
From what I've read it remains effective as long as it remains dry and a coating such as Defy put on after the borate that is water repellent will help it to remain effective.

Note that there are little sticks of borate you can insert into holes you drill into your logs to provide longer protection - Impel Rods- for logs - not lumber - little suppositories for your logs.  ;D
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