Stop Pavement Ants In Their Tracks – 7 Battle Tactics

Stop Pavement Ants – It Happened So Fast

Stop Pavement AntsThe other night before bed, out of the corner of my eye I saw a tiny black spot on the kitchen floor that caught my attention. Instinctively, my focus was attracted to that spot because it was moving! Upon closer observation, it became clear that this was a little black ant. “How cute”, I thought, as I continued on to bed.

The next morning as I entered the kitchen, no lie, there were over 1000 of the little black specks hurrying about on the kitchen floor, making a bee-line to the stove and disappearing underneath. Actually, it was a two-lane ant highway going to and from the stove. Not so cute anymore.

stop pavement antsI quickly did the math: If 1 tiny black ant + 8 hours = 1000+ tiny black ants undertaking a massive highway project in my kitchen, then 1000+ tiny black ants + another 8 hours could become 1 million ants established in their own thriving new major metro area in the kitchen. Now it was sounding a bit science fiction. This meant war.

Stop Pavement Ants – Where do you start?

Upon doing a little research, I found that pavement ants are pretty much attracted to all the food I love. My kitchen must seem to them like a pavement ant superstore! They have an extremely keen sense of smell and so can detect the slightest odor of food.

Stop Pavement Ants – First battle tactic.

stop pavement antsIt’s clear, then that my first line of defense against this invasion was to eliminate even the slightest food odor from my kitchen. Wow! Not so easy as it sounds. I’d need to begin by thoroughly cleaning EVERYTHING. This meant, the entire inside of the refrigerator, pulling out the refrigerator and discovering everything that’s been hiding there over the years–yuk! Same with the oven–inside, outside, underneath. Then the dishwasher, the floor, all the hidden cracks.

Stop Pavement Ants – Second battle tactic.

“If no odor of food is neutral” thought I, “why not escalate the battle by providing a repellant odor?” Is there an odor that pavement ants hate, despise, makes them want to get as far away as possible? Back to the books. And, victory! There is not one, but many odors that pavement ants hate:

Peppermint oil, lemon juice, crumbled bay leaves, mint, cinnamon, citrus, cloves, cayenne pepper, onion, orange oil mixed with vinegar and rubbing alcohol, coffee grounds, sage, catnip, cucumber peel, white pepper, Windex, and chalk. Credits: Preventing Pavement Ants in Your Home | Colonial Pest Control

“That’s what I’m talking about!”, I thought. I’ll not just clean everything, but rub it down with orange oil mixed with vinegar.

Stop Pavement Ants – Third battle tactic.

But wait! I missed something important. Pavement ants have a keen, uncanny sense of smell. Yes, they’ll sniff out any food crumbs where ever they might be. But even after everything has been thoroughly cleaned, the scent of food continues to come from any unsealed containers. Consider that bag of dog food, those cereal boxes in the cabinet, the flour and sugar bags, the pancake syrup container that has a slight drip at the spout. All are huge welcome signs to pavement ants.

So, my next line of defense will be to seal all food so tightly in containers that absolutely no odor of food can escape to welcome the pavement ants. I’ll use Tupperware or Ziploc.

Stop Pavement Ants – Fourth battle tactic.

Now I’m going to take the battle to their territory, outside the house. I’ll keep the trash can tightly sealed, and move it further away from the house. I’ll also trim back any tree branches or bushes that are touching the house (these could be pavement ant highways into the house). I’ll make a thorough inspection of my home’s exterior and seal up even the tiniest crack where pavement ants might find an entrance (window seals, the foundation…etc.)

Stop Pavement Ants – Fifth battle tactic.

I just found there are plants that actually repel pavement ants. Mint is a big one, and grows so rapidly, it will be easy to plant around the house.

In addition, during the hottest days of the Summer, when pavement ants are looking to escape to a cooler place like my house, I’ll spray a hose around the outside of my home. Pavement ants will not cross over water.

Stop Pavement Ants – Sixth battle tactic.

Remember that first ant that I discovered the evening before there were over 1,000 in my kitchen. Here’s the way it works: That ant was a scout. He discovered a food source, then created a scent trail to the source. The next 999 ants honed in on that trail right into my kitchen! The moral of the story: If you see a pavement ant scout, kill it immediately, before it has a chance to send the coordinates to the home colony!

Stop Pavement Ants – Seventh battle tactic.

I’m exhausted just thinking of all the things I need to do to stop these pavement ants in their tracks. Time to call in a professional trained soldier who stops pavement ants for a living:

Calling ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378


Napoleon Hill 14 Habits of Exceptionally Likable People

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits – In his book, “The Science of Success”, Napoleon Hill identifies 14 habits of people who are so likable that others will go out of their way to help them. These habits led to his own success, and Napoleon Hill is best known for his blockbuster book, “Think and Grow Rich”. His business philosophy has helped numerous entrepreneurs and corporate leaders to extraordinary success since it’s publication in 1937.

Image credits for images below:

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits #1

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsDevelop a positive mental attitude.

Let it be seen and felt by others.

14 Habits #2

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsAlways speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone.

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits #3

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsPay close attention to someone speaking to you

14 Habits #4

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsBe able to maintain your composure in all circumstances

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits #5

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsBe patient.

14 Habits #6

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsKeep an open mind.

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits #7

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsSmile when speaking with others.

14 Habits #8

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsKnow that not all your thoughts need to be expressed.

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits #9

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsDon’t procrastinate.

14 Habits #10

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsEngage in at least one good deed each day.

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits #11

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsFind a lesson in failure, rather than brood over it.

14 Habits #12

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsAct as if the person you are speaking to is the most important person in the world.

Napoleon Hill 14 Habits #13

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsPraise others in a genuine way without being excessive.

14 Habits #14

Napoleon Hill 14 HabitsHave someone you trust point out your flaws.



For pest control service that observes these 14 habits…

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Termite Prevention Tips – Don’t Host A New Colony

Termite Prevention Tips: Why Prevention?

Termite Prevention TipsAs they say, “An ounce off prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s far easier to prevent a termite problem than cure one. Termites, once established, if left to their own devices, will bring the entire house down. They’re just doing their job, which is to break down dead wood so that it can decompose back into the soil. You just don’t want them doing that to your home!

Image Credits: How to Prevent Termite Problems – Green Pest Solutions

Termite Prevention Tips: They All Have One Thing in Common

Termites love warm, moist decomposing wood. All the termite prevention tips in this article are basically saying the same thing: “Make sure that there is no warm, moist decomposing wood in or around your home. If there is, termites are likely to eventually find it, move in and finish the job.”

Remember that every Spring the termite’s reproductive winged versions emerge and swarm, then disperse far and wide looking for ideal conditions in which to create their next termite colony. If a few of these small winged bugs get into or around your home and find moist wood, that’s all they need to successfully multiply!

Termite Prevention TipsTermite Prevention Tips: Here are 5 of the Most Important 

These 5 specific measures will help ensure the next termite colony does not make its home inside your home.

  • Move Firewood Away – The most important strategy for preventing termites is to move any wet wood away from the home. An example is firewood. Firewood should be as far away from the home as possible, as it is the most popular food for termites and will attract them to your home.
  • Consider Moisture Control – Inside of your home, you need to control your moisture, especially in areas that retain moisture and have wood the termites might enjoy. Consider a dehumidifier in attics, basements, and garages if those areas have excess moisture. Divert downspouts away from your home and clean out gutters to improve drainage. Image Credits: 5 Things You Should Be Doing To Prevent Termites in Your Home
  • Trim/Remove/Monitor Old Trees – Much like with firewood, termites will look for the most delicious meals first before moving on to your home. If you have an old tree, make sure it’s trimmed or removed. If you don’t want to remove it, watch it closely for signs of termites.
  • Keep Space Between Plants, Water, and Home – It’s also recommended that you keep all plants and water as far from the home as possible. Make sure your gutters and drains are working and consider non-edible landscaping around your home.Credits: How to Prevent Termite Problems – Green Pest Solutions
  • Clear Mulch away from your foundation. Leave at least 4 inches between the mulch and your foundation due to the moisture and temperature created by mulch–ideal conditions for termites.

Termite Prevention Tips: Final Suggestion

Schedule a professional home termite inspection once yearly.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Termites Create Fertile Soil, Promote Growth of Vegetation

Termites Create Fertile Soil – Slow the Spread of Deserts

Termites Create Fertile SoilIn recent years there’s been a lot of talk about the spread of the earth’s deserts. Areas that had at one time been lush and green are becoming barren wastelands–and this action seems to be accelerating worldwide.

Curiously, an insect feared by homeowners, the termite, may be part of a solution to desertification.

“New research published in the journal Science suggests that termite nests are crucial to stopping the spread of deserts. In the parched grasslands and savannas of Africa, South America, and Asia, termite mounds store nutrients and moisture, and — via internal tunnels — allow water to better penetrate the soil. As a result, vegetation flourishes on and near termite mounds in ecosystems that are otherwise highly vulnerable to desertification.

Image Credits: Termites May Help to Prevent Desertification – Entomology Today

Termites Create Fertile Soil “The vegetation on and around termite mounds persists longer and declines slower,” said corresponding author Corina Tarnita. “Because termites allow water to penetrate the soil better, the plants grow on or near the mounds as if there were more rain. Even when you get to such harsh conditions where vegetation disappears from the mounds, re-vegetation is still easier. As long as the mounds are there, the ecosystem has a better chance to recover.” Credits: Termites May Help to Prevent Desertification – Entomology Today

Termites Create Fertile Soil – There job is to break wood down so it can be used as fertilizer.

Termites are one of the few species have the ability to break down materials that contain cellulose, like dead trees. The microorganisms that live within their gut allow them to digest the wood.

Image Credits: Getting to Know Subterranean Termites » sugarlandexterminating

Termites Create Fertile Soil – But do you want that to happen to your home?

Leave them to their own devices, and termites will over time help your property to return to its original condition before your home was built! They’ll weaken the foundation and actually bring your home down. More homes are destroyed annually due to termite damage than to fires.

Termites Create Fertile Soil – What conditions attract them?

Termites are attracted especially to moist wood. For this reason, your first line of defense is to properly ventilate your home’s crawl spaces and wall voids.

Termites Create Fertile Soil – How to recognize the presence of termites.

Termites In Your HomeOne of the clearest warnings of a termite infestation is the little mud tunnel they create from the soil to the wooden structure of your home. The most common species of termite in the Northeast is the Subterranean Termite. This species prefers to remain hidden in moist soil or wood–thus the tunnels.

Termites Create Fertile Soil – What to do if you spot their tunnels under your home?

Don’t leave a termite problem unattended. While they might be valuable in the savannas of Africa, they’re literally converting your home back to nature!

Take action immediately.

Call ApolloX Pest Control.

(888) 499-7378 

Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply

Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Check Around Your Pantry

pavement ants in our food supplyPerhaps the most successful species of ant in areas where humans live is the pavement ant. They’re the tiny dark brown–nearly black–ants you see crawling about cracks in your walkway or home foundation in huge numbers.

The first indication you have a pavement ant problem might be when you see a few ants around the base of your refrigerator or  kitchen counter where you left a few crumbs of food. The next day there are hundreds of them. Follow their neat pathway, and you may discover where thousands are emerging from their nest, perhaps under a concrete slab.

Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Endless Multipliers

The key is that these ants won’t just disappear on their own. They seem to have the ability to endlessly multiply as long as there is a food source, and they love just about everything we humans eat.

Image Credits: Pavement Ants have Highest Level of Carbon-13 | newsmaine

“Eating human food could be an advantage for the pavement ants, allowing them to thrive in areas where their natural diet of dead insects and things might not be so prevalent”, said Clint Penick, a post-doctoral fellow at North Carolina State University.

Image Credits: Pavement Ants having Taste for Human food more than any other

“Humans bring a ton of general resources,” he said. “The species that can take advantage of these resources the best, sort of wins.”

Image Credits: Ant Control Services in Idaho at Brax Pest Control |

Tests on insects collected from pavements and traffic islands in Manhattan show that their bodies contain the molecular fingerprint of junk food. Credits: New York pavement ants have taste of human food says Study | The

Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: First Line of Defense

So, the first line of defense is to keep everything very clean. Clean all food particles and residue under tables, counters, under your refrigerator, on the floor under and behind your stove–all those hard to reach places. Your goal is that all food in any form is only to be found in tightly sealed containers. Know that pavement ants have the ability to penetrate cereal boxes and sugar sacks that seem neatly sealed, so you’ll need strong ant-proof containers like Tupperware and Ziploc.

Pavement Ants In Our Food SupplyPavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Finding the Nest

Look around your home or business for small piles of super fine gravel–larger than sand, looking like tiny rocks. Unlike the carpenter ant, the pavement ant doesn’t burrow into wood, and is not likely to damage a structure. However, they can eventually undermine walkways, causing them to crack.

Image Credits: Pavement ants develop taste for human food | The Silver Ink

Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Don’t Inadvertently Drive Them Indoors

So you’ve found the nest. The first natural thought is to spray it with an over the counter spray you found at your local home improvement center or grocery store. This may just end up driving them indoors!

Image Credits: Pavement Ants — A Serious Summer Problem – Ransford Pest Control

Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Call the Professionals

Pavement ants can be very persistent and aggressive. If you notice a colony in or near your home, it’s best to call a professional exterminator.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Mediterranean Flour Moth Infestation – How it happens

Mediterranean Flour Moth Infestation – The culprit

Mediterranean Flour Moth InfestationThe adult Mediterranean flour moth has grey fore-wings with some dark zigzag markings, and the hind wing is light grey to beige. It is distinct in its stance as it raises the front of its body, giving the wings a downward slope.  The larva is white to pink in color with a brown head.The Mediterranean flour moth infests flour, cereals, bran, beans, biscuits, nuts, chocolates, dried foods and many other food stuffs. Credits: Mediterranean Flour Moth – A and H Pest Control

Mediterranean Flour Moth Infestation – Typical Scenario

Let’s say you have dog food stored in a sealed plastic bag or the kind of dog food bag found in the pet section of your grocer. You bring it home and store it away in a cupboard. The Mediterranean flour moth can easily burrow through such a bag, even when it’s tightly sealed. In fact, it may have been there in the first place. 

One moth can lay as many as 116-678 eggs inside the bag (we wonder who counts the eggs to come up with such exact numbers). Within 3-5 days you have up to 678 Mediterranean flour moth larvae crawling about, growing to maturity, capable of further multiplying their population in just 4-6 weeks. Next stop…459,684 moths! Do the math: 3 months later, third generation, you could have… what’s 459,684 X 678??!! 

Mediterranean Flour Moth Infestation – Alfred Hitchcock Scenario

But wait, it could be worse. Imagine that a mouse chews its way into that same dog food bag and begins to transport dog food into a wall void for safe keeping. One moth locates the mouse food storage area and lays her 678 eggs there. 459,684 little moths arrive in the next generation. Again, 3 months later there are as many as 312 million Mediterranean flour moths. Since this is all happening in a hidden, inaccessible area of your home, all you see is a growing number of Mediterranean flour moths fluttering about. Things are beginning to look a bit Alfred Hitchcock!

Mediterranean Flour Moth Infestation – What to do?

Act Immediately: The first rule is that, since time is NOT on your side, don’t leave this situation untreated. If you see one Mediterranean flour moth in your home, you may be just 3 months away from “moth Armageddon”.

Immediately dispose of all food items that show any evidence of moth habitation. “If in doubt, throw it out.” Then vacuum and scrub every cabinet in the kitchen, and possibly in other rooms if there is evidence of moths. Be a good detective and clean even the smallest crevice and crack. 

These moths are so persistent, even the most thorough cleaning can still be unsuccessful. They can hide in the outer folds of a dog food bag or flour bag. They can hide in the tiniest cracks in your cupboard, or even in the holes that make up those movable cupboard shelves.

One report has a homeowner having to actually repaint his entire kitchen before eradicating the moths!

Mediterranean Flour Moth Infestation – Aftermath

So, let’s assume you have conquered the problem. Don’t let yourself become too overconfident. Keep checking for the next two months to be sure.

Don’t risk another infestation. Thoroughly inspect all food you bring into your home. Be aware of the expiration date. Watch especially the specialty grains.

Store all food in tightly sealed containers. Remember that these moths can bore holes in paper, cardboard or even thin plastic. Plan accordingly.

And, don’t store food for longer than a few weeks, unless it’s in a solid, air-tight, moth-proof container. Dispose of any food that has reached its expiration date.

“After thoroughly cleaning the pantry, use pheromone traps to stop any lingering moth problems. The traps use the female pheromone to lure the male moth to the trap where it becomes stuck. Other moth traps are the glass trap and the suppressing trap. The glass trap uses pheromones and water in the container to drown the pantry moth. Suppressing traps use both male and female pheromones and a glue strip.” Credits: How to Solve a Pantry Moth Problem |

These may seem like radical measures, but the cost of eradicating an active Mediterranean flour moth infestation can be far greater than the cost of prevention.

Mediterranean Flour Moth Infestation – Ask for help.

Make your moth problem go away the easy way.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Indian Meal Moth Pantry Moths – Identify, Eradicate

Indian Meal Moth Pantry Moths – How do they get into your home?

Pantry Moth ExterminationIf you find pantry moths in your home and in your stored food, it’s not an indication that you did something wrong or are a poor housekeeper. Don’t beat yourself up!

The indian meal moth most likely hitched a ride into your home in the form of tiny eggs that were present in food you purchased. The eggs later hatched, the larvae consumed the food, grew to maturity, then deposited eggs elsewhere in your home. Now you have an Indian Meal Moth infestation.

Indian Meal Moth Pantry Moths – Foods they infest.

Here are some examples of foods that may be hiding Indian meal moth eggs.

  • Powdered milk
  • Nuts
  • Dried herbs
  • Pet food
  • Candy
  • Pasta
  • Dried fruit
  • Flours and meals
  • Cereals and grains
  • Bird seed

As you can see, Indian Meal Moth eggs can be found in a wide variety of foods.

Indian Meal Moth Pantry Moths – Signs of An Infestation:

Pantry Moth ExterminationThose small moths flying around your kitchen lights at night are likely pantry moths–especially if your doors and windows were closed, so they most possibly came from inside the house.

Do you notice small collections of tightly bunched webs along the top of your kitchen cabinets? These may be Indian Meal Moth cocoons.

Then, there are the tiny worm-like larvae. They can grow to over a half inch long and are off-white in color with black or brown heads. You might notice them on walls, close to the ceiling. They’re seeking a place to create a cocoon and turn into an adult egg-laying Indian Meal Moth.

Finally, and most obvious, you open a package of any of the foods on the list above. Inside the package you notice the small larvae, or little clumps of webs, or larvae skins. Now, if the package is not tightly sealed, you can assume the larvae exited and found a place to create a cocoon, transform to an adult, and lay eggs.

Indian Meal Moth Pantry Moths – How to keep them out of your home.

Indian Meal Moth Pantry MothsAny of the types of food listed above that are not stored in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator need to be used up within 3 weeks. In short, don’t store food for longer than 3 weeks in open, exposed containers. This includes pet food (one of the biggest culprits).

In fact, even food stored in a sealed container for long periods of time can end up with little critters. We once discovered little things crawling about in a completely sealed, unopened plastic canister of protein powder purchased over a year ago and forgotten in the back of a cupboard.

Never keep food past its expiration date. It’s just not worth it.

Indian Meal Moth Pantry Moths – How to eradicate an infestation.

The fact that you’re reading this article may indicate that you already have an Indian Meal Moth infestation and just want to know how to get rid of the moths. Here are some ideas:

Immediately dispose of any food you think might contain Indian Meal Moth eggs or larvae. If you bought two packages of the same type of food on the same day from the same grocer and find one is infested, it might be wise to dispose of both. Don’t take chances.

Empty, and thoroughly clean every cupboard where you store food. Vacuum them, wash them down, and throw away the vacuum bag–outside of the house.

Empty your kitchen garbage container and thoroughly scrub it down.

Wipe down everything with white vinegar (add a few drops of essential oil like peppermint, citronella, eucalyptus or tea tree). You can also place bay leaves on your cupboard shelves and in flour and grain containers. This repels moths.

Continue to monitor your home for the presence of pantry moths and follow the simple preventative measures in the previous section.

Indian Meal Moth Pantry Moths – Want help?

Wouldn’t be great to walk into your home and know there are no pantry moths – and you didn’t need to lift a finger?

We’ll take care of the entire problem FOR you, and even inspect your home for the presence of other pests.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Powderpost Beetle Quick Facts – Spot, Take Action

Powderpost Beetle Quick Facts – Species

  • Several hundred species (the list is growing due to continuing introduction of foreign wood into the U.S.)
  • Three species are most common in the U.S. (Lyctid, Anobiid, Bostrichid)


Powderpost Beetle Damage – View Infected Wood, Scenarios

Powderpost Beetle Damage – Views of Infected Wood

Powderpost beetles are only about 1/8 inch long, they spend most of their lives in the larval state hidden in the wood they are infesting, and emerge at night only for a few days before they breed, lay new eggs, then die.

The common element here is that it’s hard to see the beetles themselves. Most likely, you’ll only see the evidence of their presence. And that evidence will be the small pin-head sized exit holes they bore when the powderpost beetle larvae matures into an adult and exits the wood to breed.

To help you diagnose the signs of powderpost beetle damage to wood, we’ve provided the following images.

Powderpost Beetle Damage to a Window Frame

Powderpost Beetle exit holes Credits: Wood Beetles, Powderpost Beetles and How to Treat Infestations

Powderpost Beetle Damage to a 2X4 Piece of Lumber

Powderpost beetle damage done to a 2x4.  Credits: Wood Beetles, Powderpost Beetles and How to Treat Infestations

Powderpost Beetle Damage to Wood Paneling Front and Back

Paneling with exit holes and galleries caused by burrowing powderpost beele larvae. Credits: Wood Beetles, Powderpost Beetles and How to Treat Infestations

Panel damage caused by feeding powderpost beetle larvae Credits: Wood Beetles, Powderpost Beetles and How to Treat Infestations

Powderpost beetle damage is done by the larvae which lives and tunnels in the wood, consuming fungus which has been deposited by the adult along with the eggs. It’s the fungus that actually breaks down the wood making it available for the powderpost beetle to digest.

The powderpost beetle eggs can exist in wood for as much as ten years before hatching, maturing larvae emerge as adults, so these pests can be extremely hard to detect.

Failure to detect and exterminate powderpost beetles can result in wood that literally crumbles into dust in your hands. If that wood is supporting the structure of your home, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario of total destruction and a plummet in resell value.

Successful extermination may require a penetrating product with a long residual, available only to a licensed pest professional.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

We’re licensed, professional powderpost beetle exterminators.

Powderpost Beetle Damage – Susceptible Wooden Structures

Powderpost Beetle Damage to Log Homes

New log homes, even with treated logs, can still be infested, and the hidden infestation may not become apparent until up to 10 years after construction!

Powderpost Beetle Damage to House Siding

Exterior siding made of cedar, pine or some other wood can be infested with powderpost beetles. Watch for the pin hole exit marks on the wood. You may need to remove and treat or replace the siding depending on the extent of the damage. You’ll also want to thoroughly inspect the underlying wood. If that is also infected and untreated, your new or treated siding will likely be reinfected.

The rule here is to treat a much larger area than the area where you see the exit pinholes. Treat all surrounding wood.

Powderpost Beetle Damage to Attics

Rafters, floor joists and studs can be infected by powderpost beetles, and the damage may lie hidden for years following the construction of the home.

Powderpost Beetle Damage Inside Walls 

When remodeling, inspect inside the voids above crawl spaces and below attics for powderpost beetle damage. You’ll need to remove sheet rock and paneling.

Powderpost Beetle Damage to Crawl Spaces

The first line of defense here is to ventilate all crawl spaces since powderpost beetles love moist wood. This action alone may cause the powderpost beetles to stop breeding and eventually exit your home. However, you will also want to treat the wood. Fumigation may be the preferred solution here. Note that only a licensed pest exterminator is permitted to purchase and apply the product needed.

Powderpost Beetle Damage to Furniture and Cabinets

Most often the powderpost beetle eggs or larvae were already inside the wood at the time of construction. In question here are picture frames, artwork, wall units, desks, couches, statues, cabinets, chairs and tables.

Take immediate action if you discover wood with the powderpost beetle exit pinholes. You may need to strip finished furniture in order to successfully apply wood-penetrating treatment.

Powderpost Beetle Damage to Antiques

Here’s the scenario: The furniture came from a powderpost beetle infested home or antique shop and is itself infested. Or, the furniture was imported and had been in contact with powderpost beetle infested wood. Even refinishing that old antique dresser won’t eliminate the larvae deep within. They’ll continue to tunnel about, the eventually exit the wood and infest your home! Always check for exit pinholes before bringing any wooden object into your home.

Powderpost Beetle Damage to Wooden Floors

The scenario here is a new oak floor is installed and varnished. Then, 1-5 years later the tale-tale powderpost beetle exit pinholes begin to appear, along with a fine dust powder at the exit hole. It’s most likely that the beetle problem existed in the flooring before it was installed in your home, and also likely that the manufacturer will deny this and tell you the infestation came from your home. They’ll also tell you that the infestation will die off, so just ignore it. Don’t believe this. You’ll need to treat the problem or risk the spread of infestation to your wooden furniture and even the framework and siding of your home!

We recommend stripping the entire floor and treating it with a penetrating powderpost beetle treatment. Failure to do this could mean replacing the floor at a far greater expense in a few years and potentially needing to treat all your wooden furniture and possibly your entire home. That would be a much much larger expense.

In the event you decide to replace the entire floor (the flooring manufacturer accepts responsibility and foots the bill), you might want to treat the new floor before finishing it. This will help ensure there will be no new powderpost beetle problems.

Powderpost Beetle Damage – How long might it persist following treatment?

Most powderpost beetle treatments are effective in killing the larvae. The treatment acts as a poison that activates when ingested by the larvae. The problem is that the pupae (the stage between larvae and adult) doesn’t eat. Neither does the adult. The pupae can exist in the wood for up to a year or more. When the pupae matures into an adult, it exits the wood, but since it doesn’t eat wood like the larvae, treatments are ineffective. The adult emerges, then looks for a mate, and for unfinished wood in which to lay a new batch of eggs.

As you can see, a powderpost beetle problem is very difficult to eradicate.

If you notice powderpost beetle pinholes in any wood in your home, it’s best to call a licensed pest control specialist.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378


Powderpost Beetle Conversations – First Hand Reports

We found the following powderpost beetle conversations on a forum and thought we’d pass them along. Each demonstrates some aspect of these wood boring pests, and the challenges faced by those who encountered them.

Powderpost Beetle Conversations – Home Inspector and PC insurance rep speak out.

Home inspector advises against home purchase due to powderpost beetles.

Powderpost Beetle Conversations

Anobiid Powderpost Beetle

“I inspected a house in Golden Beach (yes, the name does represent the people who live there, that’s where those with the gold live to some extent down there in South Florida) about 10 years or so ago which was totally gone due to those buggers.

No matter where I grabbed a truss, it crumbled in my hand.

I came down and advised my client, he was buying it because it was a point lot with 400 feet on the Intra-coastal, he only wanted it inspected to see if it was safe to rent out for a year or two before tearing it down …

I told him I would not recommend it, one big wind from a hurricane and it will save him from having to tear it down – but I sure would not want someone under it when it comes down. He was getting a good buy on it too … only $3 mil back then.” Credits: Powder Post Beetles – Inspection News

Property and casualty insurance agent speaks out against purchasing a home infested with powderpost beetles.

“With all my experience in the PC business, I would not buy a home with Powder Post beetles. I’d run away in a heartbeat.” Credits: Powder Post Beetles – Inspection News

Powderpost Beetle Conversations – Total Destruction Described

Powderpost Beetle Conversations

Lyctid Powderpost Beetle

“Pest guys will swear up and down that it will not re-infest… What a joke!!

I’m firmly of the belief that there is no cure other than removal of the wood. And with this particular house if you took out all of the bad wood the only thing between you and the ground would be the carpet.” Credits: Powder Post Beetles – Inspection News

Powderpost Beetle Conversations – Frustration with time-consuming monitoring

“If you see frass hanging out of the holes it is probably active. But if you see the holes and no frass it requires monitoring, which can be costly and time consuming. You can draw a silver dollar sized circle and count or number the holes inside, come back a month or so later to see if you have more holes inside the circle. I will usually draw about ten circles and monitor them in order to determine activity. Who really wants to do this?” Credits: Powder Post Beetles – Inspection News

Powderpost Beetle Conversations: Summary

As you can see by these reports, powderpost beetles are not to be taken lightly. We’ve seen home inspectors and property and casualty insurance agents run the other way when they encounter powderpost beetles. We’ve seen reports of utter destruction of wooden beams and foundations which literally “crumble in your hands”, leaving “nothing between the carpet and the ground under the house”!

If you have a powderpost beetle infestation, your house may be toast as far as its resale value. However, there are ways to fight the infestation and reclaim your home.

Powderpost Beetle Conversations – 7 Point Prescription

  1. Exterminate the powderpost beetles. This will require a professional pest exterminator who has access to solutions that are available only to licensed pest exterminators.
  2. Replace infested wood with new wood that has been properly kiln dried and certified free of powderpost beetles.
  3. Ventilate every area of your home (crawl spaces, walls, roof) to keep the wood dry — a condition powderpost beetles do not like.
  4. Never store firewood inside your home, even for brief periods of time.
  5. Never build using lumber that has been lying around in a garage, barn, basement, outside.
  6. Thoroughly inspect all furniture (especially imported furniture) for the presence of powderpost beetles. Look for the tale-tale pin holes that mark their exit from the wood.
  7. When purchasing hardwood flooring or paneling (in particular wood of foreign origin), be especially sure to get a statement of certification from the seller that the wood is inspected and free of powderpost beetles.

Do you have a powderpost beetle problem?

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

We’re licensed pest exterminators with the required training, skill and experience treating homes and businesses with powderpost beetle issues.