Powder Post Beetles! Doing it ourselves...help!

amandamarApril 13, 2013

While renovating our first floor we found evidence of powder post beetles. It looked like an old abandoned infestation, but we had an orange oil pest company come out and they said it is active. They quoted us about 2k to treat about 10 beams/joists. The thing is this wood is very old...put in when the house was built in 1905, and I've read that these bugs don't like old wood. I'm thinking these were there when the place was built. I've looked for fresh sawdust, but can't tell if it's there are not, nothing obvious. We are in a time crunch because the contractor is closing up the walls with drywall in 2 days! So, we have decided to take this on ourselves and bought the 95% d-limonene (citrus oil) and are going to treat the areas ourselves. Just realized we are supposed to use a B&G injector perhaps to get the stuff into the wood and we don't have one! Are we crazy trying to do this ourselves? How bad is it if we treat topically for the beetles and then close up the walls? Please help...

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annzgw

You've probably read it already but the following link has some excellent info on identifying activity and treatment.

Did the pest company show you why they believe the beetles are active? I'd have to see the evidence of frass (powder/sawdust) before I'd panic.
It's not the end of the world if the contractor has to delay drywall in this area, so don't hesitate to reschedule if necessary.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beetles

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:05PM
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sarabera

This is not something I would mess around with as a DYI. Powder post beetles are common in old wood (don't usually find them in newer wood that is kiln dried). My husband is a contractor and one of the things he often does is replace infested/rotten structural wood in old houses. You can have just a few holes in a piece of wood, and the inside can be almost completely sawdust. We see it all the time. If I were you I would have a local house inspector ( a realtor can recommend a good one) come out and inspect your house. If structural wood is damaged too much, it needs to be replaced. He can also recommend a reputable pest control company to do any necessary treatment. Dry wall is easy to put up--don't rush things when the structural integrity might be in question.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 12:21AM
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annzgw

I have to comment on sarabera's suggestion to ask a realtor for help in finding an inspector. On two previous homes we used an inspector a realtor had recommended and both times the inspector was totally useless when it came to an actual inspection. You'd think we would have learned the first time!
Because of the problems we went thru due to shoddy inspections, I strongly suggest finding a reputable independent home inspector.

This post was edited by annz on Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 15:57

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 11:48AM
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amandamar

So, we had the pest guy come and he sprayed Boracare everywhere for $600...then a few days later the Boracare and D-Limonene (orange oil) my husband ordered showed up and he got over exuberant and sprayed an entire gallon of Boracare AND then an entire gallon of D-Limonene all over our ground floor construction project area (about 800 sf area). Now the whole house STINKS of orange oil and I'm worried that it might be harmful to my dog and 3 year old..anyone have any experience with this stuff. It's supposed to be at least 95% D-limonene tech grade from Citrus Depot. Is a whole gallon of this stuff un-diluted a crazy amount to have used?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:02AM
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amandamar

So, we had the pest guy come and he sprayed Boracare everywhere for $600...then a few days later the Boracare and D-Limonene (orange oil) my husband ordered showed up and he got over exuberant and sprayed an entire gallon of Boracare AND then an entire gallon of D-Limonene all over our ground floor construction project area (about 800 sf area). Now the whole house STINKS of orange oil and I'm worried that it might be harmful to my dog and 3 year old..anyone have any experience with this stuff. It's supposed to be at least 95% D-limonene tech grade from Citrus Depot. Is a whole gallon of this stuff un-diluted a crazy amount to have used?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:53PM
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annzgw

Below is the MSDS for the product.
I'd suggest keeping up the ventilation and keep the dog and 3 yr old out of the area until the odor dissipates.

Here is a link that might be useful: MSDS

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:34PM
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