Wood destroying beetles do not develop rapidly in wood that is dry. Therefore, one manner in which infestations could be kept at a minimum involve methods in which wood is kept dry. For example, using vapour barriers, ventilation and heat could be ways in which wood could remain dry. In many cases, effort should be made to reduce the moisture content of wood and in turn, this would be helpful in reducing the chance of infestation. Infested wood should be removed and replaced, where this is practical. However, this is a limited method for control as removal of wood could only be done where it is economically feasible. If iinfested wood is removed, wood that was near the removed wood should be carefully inspected.
In order for the pest control applicator to treat the problem, it is necessary first to identify the beetle responsible for the damage. The type of treatment required can be determined by keeping in mind the history and habits of the identified beetle. If damage has been caused by true powderpost beetles, control activities will be geared towards articles made of hardwoods. Usually, this involves a complete application ofan insecticide to the entire article of wood.
If the damage has been caused by either bostrichid or anobiid beetles, unless the applicator is able to properly identify the exact species damaging the wood, control techniques be-come much more complex. Not only would these beetles attack both hard and softwoods, but the applicator must look at the severity of the infestation, possibility of re-infestation, area under attack, speed of control needed an the economic threshold for treatment.
To effectively treat wood destroying beetles, the pest control applicator must be able to chose the right insecticide for the right beetle. The insecticide chosen must interact with the insects. As the beetles are well concealed, this presents a major problem for the applicator. Products with a long residual life would be effective but the applicator needs to kill the beetles while they are in their tunnels such that minimum damage results to the wood. Residual sprays in most cases provide effective control. These sprays should be applied at low pressure, using a flat fan nozzle for thorough coverage. For finished woods, it is recommended to use oil solutions in order to avoid damaging the wood’s finish (ex. spotting.) With oil solutions, make an application to an inconspicuous area first to ensure the product will not damage the finish. With oil solutions, the oil carrier may have a solvent reaction with the finish and therefore, it is advisable to ensure nothing is placed on or no one touches the treated surface until it is dry.
In some instances, it may be necessary to resort to the use of a fumigant. Fumigants require special knowledge and handling procedures. Prior to using a fumigant in the treatment of beetles, please contact your pesticides regulatory agency at the Department of the Environment for information pertaining to the use of fumigants and any regulations governing such use.