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What are those holes in my expensive wood floors?

Powder Post Beetle

Last month we discussed termites. But they aren’t the only things that could be eating your home: Powder Post Beetles for example. There are two types: one eats mainly hardwoods and one likes pine and other softwoods.

You moved into your new house and it has every feature you ever wanted, including beautiful wood floors. And then sometime later (maybe even several years) it looks like someone has taken an ice pick to your floors. Those are Powder Post Beetles. You see, out in the forest the adults laid eggs in the crevices of the trees. When they hatched, the larvae stage of the insect tunneled into the surface of the tree. Along came the timber company and cut down the tree and it was processed to kill any insects living in the boards once they’re cut. Except sometimes…they don’t kill them all. Later, after they have been in your house for a while, the adults emerge to start the cycle all over again.

Old House Borers are a lot like Powder Post Beetles. They attack softwoods like pine and spruce. Their holes are oval shaped and sometimes you can see frass, which looks like fine sawdust, where the adults have chewed their way out of the wood. Oh, and they make a clicking sound you can actually hear when they are chewing!

Drywood termites can infest furniture. We often see these pests when people ship furniture from tropical locations. Military families stationed around the world can bring home interesting and unique pieces – only to discover they are loaded with these drywood termites. Bamboo is a favorite target.

If you see any of these signs I would be happy to identify which type of pest you have and propose a treatment plan. In the case of the beetles, sometimes the builder or installer will help pay for treatment or give you a replacement. That’s one reason to jump on it immediately. Also, some of these insects can re-infest other wood in your home. It’s best not to ignore it.

And if you live in a log cabin…well, we can talk.
See you next month!


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