My wife has several antique pieces that have powder puff beetles. They have bored tiny holes into the wood, leaving fine sawdust. How can I kill them? Will they spread to other furniture, to the house studs?
Lee Grindinger: Ahh, it would be nice if they were powder puffs but sadly they are not. I’m sure you’re referring to powder post beetles. This is potentially a serious problem. Identification is very important. Powder post beetles live as larva within wood. The holes you’re seeing are actually exit holes produced as the larva emerge into their short adult lives. They emerge, fly away, they mate, lay eggs and die. The eggs are laid on or just inside the surface of wood similar to the wood from which they emerged.
Since your furniture is old you need to act. I’d suggest contacting a pest control company familiar with PPB’s in your area for an inspection of your house and other furniture. Be certain there are powder post beetles in your location as there are areas of this country, the cold north, that are devoid of these pests. Left to their own devices certain species of powder post beetles have reduced furniture to dust, barns to rubble and houses to money pits.
Michael Dresdner: The beetles will attack any wood. I have seen them not only contaminate other furniture, but also bore right into the hardwood floor the furniture was sitting on. Get the pieces out of the house immediately and away from other wood (including your wood stash in the garage.) Most large exterminators have gas chambers used to kill these critters. Send the pieces out and have the pros do it. It generally won’t hurt the furniture or the finish.