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How to Get Rid of Wood Boring Beetles

By DoMyOwn staff

Wood-boring beetles can damage wood in and around a home or building. This can result in holes and tunnels in wood structures, hardwork floors, furniture, and more. Follow these steps to get rid of wood-boring beetles and prevent them from infesting your home.

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Video Transcript

Wood-Boring Beetles damage wood in homes and buildings. Adult beetles lay their eggs in the cracks and holes in the wood. When their larvae, known as woodworms, hatch, they eat their way out of the wood, creating holes and tunnels in wood structures, support beams, outdoor furniture, and more. Fortunately, with the right products and treatment plan, you can get rid of a wood-boring beetle infestation.

Yellow, clumpy powder and emergence holes in the wood are signs of an older infestation. If you see this type of powder, adult beetles have probably already emerged and left the wood.  If beetles have left the wood, you can either seal the wood with a sealant or replace it.

Wood powder is a sign of an active infestation of wood-boring beetles. If you see white, non-clumpy powder on or near wood, the infestation is most likely active and woodworms may be present.

If you suspect your wood is infested with woodworms or wood-boring beetles, treating the wood with a borate treatment is the most effective way to kill the active pests. Remove finishes from wood that has been painted or sealed before treating.

Chose a product that is borate-based for your wood treatment. Borate based products are great as they can be used to both treat and prevent wood-boring beetles and other pests from eating wood. Read the product label to determine how much water you will need to mix the product with.

Using a sprayer, paint brush or paint roller, apply your product to the unfinished wood. Coat the entire piece of wood, or as much of it as you can reach. If the wood will not be visible, such as wood beams that will be covered with drywall, you can add a spray indicator dye to mark where you have already applied the product. Make sure to apply the product to all 4 sides of the wood to maximize your pest protection.

A borate treatment will penetrate all the way through the wood and will dry clear if applied correctly.  However, a white film may appear if the borate is over-applied. This can be sanded away if needed.

If you see powderpost beetles, borer beetles, furniture beetles or other woodworms in your home, you will need to treat your home with an insecticide labeled for wood-boring beetles. This treatment will only knock down beetles in the home, and not beetles or woodworms in the wood.

Chose an insecticide labeled for wood-boring beetles or wood-infesting pests, such as products with Bifenthrin as the active ingredient. Follow the instructions on the label to mix the recommended amount of insecticide with water in a hand pump sprayer. Shake the sprayer to thoroughly mix your insecticide and water together.

Spray in the cracks and crevices of your home or rooms where wood-boring beetles or woodworms have been found. Apply around door and window frames, where baseboards meet the wall, where flooring meets baseboards or walls, beneath furniture and appliances, where utilities and pipes enter the room, and in the corners of rooms. These products can only be used for cracks and crevice treatments and are not to be broadcast sprayed in the home. Re-apply every 7-10 days as needed.

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