Powder post beetles are so called because in high numbers they are able to turn the inside of a piece of wood into nothing more than a mass of powder. They can do significant damage to log homes, furniture, wood floors and structural timbers. Powder post beetles are small (1/8 inch) and the adult beetles are seldom seen. Most of the life cycle is spent in the grub stage eating wood. This stage can last between 1-10 years depending upon a number of factors including; species of beetle, type of wood infested, age of wood, moisture content of wood and air temperature. People do not realize that the wood is infested until the adult beetles emerge from within the wood. The exit holes are very small, about the size of a pin head. When the wood is tapped with a hammer dust will fall from these exit holes. Depending on the species powder post beetles can infest hardwoods such as cherry and oak, or softwoods such as poplar, pine and bamboo. If you find a beetle infestation in a piece of oak furniture this same species of beetle would not infest your pine floor but might infest other pieces of your oak furniture.
Exit holes from the powderpost beetles emerging may not be seen for several years after the log house is constructed. Although it is possible that the beetles entered the logs after the house was built it is much more likely that the logs were already infested when purchased from the factory. I would strongly suggest that all timbers in a log home be treated before assembly. It is much cheaper to treat preventively and of course it is also much less labor intensive. The best product for this wood treatment is Boracare. Boracare is an odorless and very safe boron based material that is mixed with water and applied to the wood by brush or a hand held pump sprayer.
A Chapin pump sprayer is an excellent sprayer for this job because it comes with fan tips that will give an even spray without puddling chemical on the surface.
Boracare will penetrate wood 2-4 inches deep and is a permanent treatment unless exposed to constant water which will eventually leach it out. Boracare will also help in the prevention of carpenter ants, carpenter bees, termites, fungus and wood rot. On log homes that are already standing the varnish on the logs must be removed before the Boracare is applied. On large logs both sides of the logs should be treated to insure total penetration. In some cases the logs can be drilled and the Boracare injected inside the logs and than resealed.
POWDER POST BEETLE CONTROL IN FLOORS
The floor must be stripped and than painted or sprayed with Boracare. Be sure to check the subflooring for damage also. If the home sits above a crawl space it is suggested that the under structure be treated with Boracare also. After 72 hours of drying the floor can resealed.
POWDER POST BEETLE CONTROL IN ATTICS AND CRAWL SPACES
At times powderpost beetle infestations are so severe that a complete fumigation is recommended by a licensed pest control operator. For light to moderate infestations Boracare will do an excellent job. In attics and crawl spaces you may find old house borer damage also. This beetle is much bigger than the powderpost beetle and their exit holes are huge. Boracare will kill these also.
POWDERPOST BEETLE CONTROL IN FURNITURE
This gets a little tricky. You can not apply the Bora-Care to the outside of the furniture because the varnish will not allow penetration. You can carefully brush a very concentrated solution of Boracare inside drawers and underneath for partial control. The best solution is stripping, applying Boracare and than revarnishing. Another solution is applying Jecta Gel. This a very concentrated form of Boracare in a gel base that is delivered by a plastic syringe. Drill small holes inside the legs of the furniture, inject the Jecta Gel and than reseal the holes. The Jecta Gel will spread in all directions from the applied site.
Individual exit holes can also be treated one at a time with a good crack and crevice aerosol like Invader crack and crevice aerosol.
BORACARE IN LOG HOMES
BORA-CARE® is an innovative wood preservative and pesticide, not just a surface treatment. It is particularly suited for seasoned or kiln dried wood. BORA-CARE is much more effective than those products which treat only the surface of the wood. BORA-CARE contains disodium octaborate tetrahydrate as the active ingredient along with a patented carrier system which allows the active ingredient to completely penetrate all wood, regardless of moisture content.
A BORA-CARE treatment is odorless, does not affect painting, staining or gluing and does not change the appearance of the wood. Most importantly, BORA-CARE treated wood is non-toxic to humans and animals.
Note: BORA-CARE is not corrosive to most metals, but may tarnish unpainted aluminum.
Wood treated with BORA-CARE will be protected from:
Wood boring beetles
Wood rot and decay
BORA-CARE is a concentrate which must be diluted with an equal volume of water before being applied. Add 1 gallon of water to every gallon of BORA-CARE concentrate and stir thoroughly until solution is completely uniform. The use of warm water and an impeller type mixer, which can be used with an electric drill, substantially aids the mixing process.
Always use diluted BORA-CARE within 24 hours after mixing. If kept for longer periods of time, the active ingredient can drop out of the solution.
Note: BORA-CARE is toxic to plants and shrubbery; if necessary, cover plants, root systems and surrounding soil with plastic to avoid contamination.
Apply only to bare wood. Remove any finish or water repellent coating before applying BORA-CARE. Wood surfaces should be free of dirt and other contaminates. Apply diluted BORA-CARE by spray or brush to all exposed wood surfaces.It may occasionally be necessary to apply more than one coat of BORA-CARE to attain the recommended application rate (see APPLICATION CHARTS). This is especially true for larger, smooth surfaced wood members. Wood surfaces should be allowed to dry for at least 2 hours between applications. Do not apply in the rain or snow. If inclement weather is expected, protect exposed treated surface with a plastic tarp for at least 24 hours after treatment.Spray Application
Mix the BORA-CARE concentrate with water in a clean container, stir well, then add the diluted solution to the spray tank. (Mixing BORA-CARE directly in a spray tank can block hoses and nozzles). Spray all surfaces of the wood or logs, including the ends, with a low pressure sprayer. Apply solution until it begins to run off.
Mix one gallon of BORA-CARE concentrate with one gallon of water in a clean container. Protect hands with solvent resistant gloves. Brush the diluted BORA-CARE solution onto all surfaces of the logs or lumber, including the ends. Apply solution until it begins to run off.
Care & Maintenance of Treated Logs
For long term protection, exterior wood surfaces which have been treated with BORA-CARE should be coated with a water resistant paint or stain within six weeks after treatment. It is important to allow BORA-CARE treated wood to completely dry (at least 48 hours) before applying any protective topcoat. It is not necessary to protect interior wood surfaces except in situations involving repeated moisture contact (prolonged construction process, shower stalls, bath houses, etc.).
Since the active ingredient in BORA-CARE penetrates throughout the wood, the amount of BORA-CARE required must be calculated on the volume of wood being treated, not the surface area. One gallon of BORA-CARE concentrate will treat up to 800 board feet of wood.
Only diluted BORA-CARE should be applied to any wood surface. Prior to application, check wood surfaces for an existing water repellent finish by spraying a small amount of water onto the surface of the wood or logs. If the water beads up or is not absorbed into the wood, a finish is present which must be removed before applying the BORA-CARE.
In log homes which have been lived in for two or more years, interior log surfaces will sometimes accumulate oil, especially around kitchen and dining areas. This oil residue must be removed with a strong detergent prior to treatment.
Occasionally, white crystalline deposits may form on a treated surface after drying. This may be caused by the presence of an existing finish or by a high resin content in the wood. These deposits can be removed with warm water and will not affect the efficacy of the treatment.
If only the exterior surfaces of a log structure are to be treated, because the interior walls are inaccessible or finished, multiple applications of BORA-CARE to the exterior log surfaces will be necessary. The rates listed in the following table are applicable to either coating both interior and exterior surfaces or to applications to only the exterior log surface.
BORA-CARE ON SHAKES AND SHINGLES
BORA-CARE is an innovative wood preservative and pesticide, not just a surface treatment. It's patented formulation is designed to completely penetrate all wood, regardless of moisture content. A BORA-CARE treatment offers far greater protection than those products which give only surface protection.
BORA-CARE is odorless, does not affect painting, staining or gluing and does not change the appearance of the wood. Most importantly, BORA-CARE treated wood is not toxic to humans and animals. A BORA-CARE treatment adds some flame retardancy to the wood and acts as a corrosion inhibitor, extending the life of nails and fasteners.
A BORA-CARE treatment will eliminate and protect wood from infestations of:
Wood boring beetles
When wood is exposed to sunlight and precipitation, its surface begins to change. This physical and chemical change is referred to as weathering. The first noticeable difference is a lightening in color caused by ultraviolet (UV) light and the loss of natural oils from the wood's surface. As the wood continues to age, the color may darken, indicating the presence of decay fungi in the wood. Bare wood naturally absorbs rain water causing the wood to swell. When it dries, the wood shrinks and microscopic cracks develop. Over time, these cracks grow larger and larger, trapping water and debris which allows wood rotting organisms to penetrate deep into the wood. These organisms help retain water which makes drying even more difficult and further increases insect and fungal activity. Soon, in addition to decay fungi, plants such as mosses and lichens begin to grow. As organic matter accumulates on the wood, it takes longer for the wood to dry between rains, and wood degradation increases. This is why the elimination of decay fungi and other plant material is necessary to extend the life of wooden siding and roofs.
A BORA-CARE treatment will not only kill the insects and decay organisms living on a roof and walls, but will also restore its natural appearance. Although BORA-CARE has no odor, the decomposition of dead organic matter may occasionally result in a "rotten" smell a few days after treatment.
DURATION OF TREATMENT
Depending on climatic conditions (annual rain, snow, etc.), a BORA-CARE treatment will last for one (1) to three (3) years. A finish, such as paint or stain can be applied over the treated wood. If a paint or stain is to be used, it is important to allow the BORA-CARE treated wood to completely dry (at least two days) before applying the protective topcoat.
BORA-CARE is supplied as a concentrate which must be diluted with water before application. Add either one (1) or two (2) parts water to every one (1) part BORA-CARE concentrate and stir until the solution is completely uniform (see following section in order to determine the appropriate dilution ratio). The use of warm or hot water and an impeller type stirrer inserted into an electric drill will substantially aid the mixing process.
Remove any loose debris which may have accumulated on the roof surface such as leaves, pine needles and branches. Heavy accumulations of moss and lichens may be removed by wet sweeping with a stiff broom followed by washing with a garden hose. Cut off and remove any tree branches that may be touching the roof surface.
Before application, block down-spouts and cover grass, plants and soil located close to the structure with plastic to prevent over-spray contact. BORA-CARE¾ will kill or stunt grass, plants and shrubs.
Debris which has accumulated in roofing gutters will help absorb any BORA-CARE solution which may run-off during treatment. This debris must be collected and disposed of after treatment (NOTE: DO NOT USE DEBRIS AS MULCH OR PLANT BEDDING).
BORA-CARE APPLICATION. Do not apply in windy conditions or when rain or snow is imminent. Diluted BORA-CARE should be applied to dry, bare wood using a low pressure (15 to 30 psi) compressed air sprayer. If a high volume spray system is used, follow manufacturers directions. Use a fan spray tip and apply solution evenly to all areas of the roof or wall using a sweeping motion.
Begin application at the highest point on the structure. If there are multiple roof sections, always start with the highest section. Stand slightly below the area to be treated and apply BORA-CARE solution to contact all shake or shingle surfaces, paying particular attention to the butt (thick) ends. Apply in a two (2) to four (4) foot wide band extending across the entire length of the roof section. Repeat procedure on the next lower section until the entire roof is treated.
For light infestations or preventative treatments, use a 2:1 BORA-CARE dilution ratio applied at a rate of one (1) gallon per 250 square feet of wood surface area.
Heavily infested roofs with significant accumulations of decay fungi, moss, lichens, etc. are best controlled by using two separate applications. Apply a 2:1 solution of BORA-CARE at a rate of one (1) gallon per 250 square feet for initial kill of the infestation. After the existing growth is dead (2 to 3 weeks) the roof should be cleaned of debris and treated a second time with a 2:1 BORA-CARE solution at a rate of one (1) gallon per 250 square feet of surface area.
NOTE: If treatment is for the control of carpenter ants or subterranean termites, the initial application must be performed using a 1:1 BORA-CARE dilution ratio at an application rate of at least one (1) gallon per 500 square feet.
ROOF SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
ROOFING AREAS FRESHLY TREATED WITH BORA-CARE WILL BE SLIPPERY !
Always use footware that will provide good traction and grip the roof surface (avoid leather-soled shoes).
Use a ladder that meets all safety requirements. Be sure to set it on stable ground.
Your ladder should extend at least 3 feet above the roof line. Tie it off at the top.
Use a bucket and rope to transport tools and equipment to the roof - do not carry them up the ladder.
Whenever possible, walk across the roof surface, rather than up and down.
ALWAYS USE SAFETY LINES AND BELTS WHEN ON A ROOF.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN PERTAINS ONLY TO BORA-CARE AND DOES NOT APPLY TO OTHER BORATE CONTAINING PESTICIDES.
Refer to the BORA-CARE label for complete product information.
CONTROLS BOTH WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS AND DECAY FUNGI
NO COLOR, ODOR OR SURFACE RESIDUE
EASY AND CONVENIENT TO USE
SUPERIOR WOOD PENETRATION
LONG TERM RESIDUAL ACTIVITY
LOW TOXICITY TO HUMANS AND PETS
Pest Control Solutions
for the Do-It-Yourselfer
Professional Pest Control Products, Inc.
5825 Nancy Ave
Columbus, Ga. 31909
1/706-682-2314 fax 1/706-221-1918