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Rodney from Chesapeake, Va writes

I applied Boracare to beams for Powderpost beetles and I see activity again. Do I need to retreat? Why am I seeing signs still?

I have a 80x50 pole barn infested with powder post beetles. Its pine milled from trees existing on lot, most beams are true 2x12. Powder post beetles are everywhere. Last year I applied borate, the super thick liquid stuff you have to mix with hot water with a sprayer. I used enough to dampen wood like directions said but this summer they are back like I never even treated them. Did I not apply enough or is there a better solution?


Powderpost Beetles are a pest that can often cause residual damage long after you have treated. The Boracare application you would have completed on the wood would be correct for treating and protecting the raw wood surfaces and having it absorb into the wood. Since powder post beetles lay their eggs inside the wood and the eggs could lay dormant for up to 30 years, you may see random signs of the pest anywhere in the time frame that you have the wood. Boracare will keep any new beetles from boring into the wood and kill them through ingestion of the wood if they try, and it will kill any beetles/larvae within the wood that try to eat their way through it or out of it. Boracare works through ingestion, so wood destroying pests would have to ingest the wood to get the product in their system to die from it. This means that any signs you are seeing now are beetles that are eating their way out of the wood and ingesting the Boracare and dying from it. Since there isnt a way to know how many eggs were left in the wood there isnt a way to know how long or how often you may see these signs pop up.

Answer last updated on: 07/05/2018

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