Thursday December 15, 2016
I have a customer who has pre-finished reclaimed oak flooring that comes in panels like laminate flooring. The floors where installed about two years ago. They are they are seeing small 1/8-inch circular holes in several spots that have little piles of fine dust being pushed out. I'm pretty sure they are being caused by true powderpost beetles. I was able to find and remove one adult beetle from just below the surface of one of the holes that I’m going to get identified to be certain. What I’m trying to figure out are options for treatment other than fumigation. With the wood being finished, any surface treatment probably won't do much. Are there any products that could be injected into the problem areas?
First, the customers should contact the flooring manufacturer, explain the situation and see what the manufacturer is willing to do. They may be willing to pay for treatment and/or provide replacement flooring. It’s not uncommon for true powderpost beetles to originate from hardwood flooring and manufacturers probably have procedures in place for these situations.
Reinfesting wood-boring beetles damage wood slowly and not every panel may be infested. So the customer has plenty of time to make a decision. An option is to track the infestation by marking existing emergence holes and keeping an eye out for new ones. It’s possible for the infestation to stop on its own, in which case only replacement flooring is needed if they don’t like the look of the damage.
As for treatment, if it is necessary, fumigation is ideal. Yes, one reason is the flooring is finished and liquid treatments will not penetrate the wood. Fumigation is the only treatment method that can provide guaranteed elimination of wood-boring beetles because gas easily penetrates wood to reach larval and pupal stages when applied at the proper dosage. Don’t offer a sub-par treatment because the customer doesn't want to invest in a fumigation.
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