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Beetle Profile: The Powder Post Beetle

Posted on the 08 June, 2010 at 5:41 pm Written by in Powder Post Beetle

Powder Post Beetle Habitat:-

Sapwood of tropical and European Hardwoods, principally oak and elm containing large pores and a high starch content. Not found in softwoods. Commonly found in new furniture, wood block and strip flooring. Panel products such as veneers, plywood and block board can be susceptible.

Powder Post Beetle Damage Characteristics:-

Emergence Holes – Circular in shape 1-2mm diameter Powder Post Beetle - (Lyctus Brunneus)

Bore Tunnels – 1-2mm diameter usually running parallel to the grain. The sapwood is often completely disintegrated, leaving just a thin, intact surface skin of wood.

Bore Dust / Frass – Cream coloured, fine talcum powder consistency when rubbed between fingers. Will accumulate in small piles beneath emergence holes and can be easily shaken from bore tunnels.

Larvae – Up to 6mm in length, curved pale cream in colour; three pairs small legs, darker spots (breathing pores) on either side near rear of body. Found all year round in infested timbers feeding on the sapwood.

Adult Beetle – 4-7mm long, reddish brown to black; flattened and elongated with roughly parallel sides. Powder post can fly well and are generally attracted to light at night. Female beetles can lay up to 200 eggs and adult beetles can often been seen emerging from infected timber, making them easy for collection and correct identification.

Emergence Period – Found on or around damaged timber, particularly between May and September, although can be found all year round in heated building. It is evident with the Powder Post Beetle that environmental conditions and the nutritional condition and type of timber will much influence the length of their life cycle.

Powder Post Beetle Remedial Treatment:-

Targeted Treatments; – Organic solvent based chemical or pastes applied where sapwood is easily accessible. Treatment of floors and furniture rarely justifiable on the basis of cost, but more importantly treatments often ineffective due to applied finishes preventing chemical uptake. If you suspect you have a Powder Post Beetle problem and require specialist advice please call 0800 0 199 211

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