Powder Post Beetle Infestations

How to Get Rid of Powder Post Beetles

Rid your home of the pests and prevent further infestations

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Powder post beetles can infest any item made of wood, but there are multiple ways to eliminate them and prevent their return. Chemicals applied to infested wood often will do the trick, but in some instances, it might be necessary to use poison gas after tenting an infested structure.

Probably the best way to deal with powder post beetles is to prevent them from ever infesting wood in the first place. Carefully selecting lumber that has been kiln-dried and then varnishing the wood will help keep powder post beetles from becoming a problem.

Eliminating Powder Post Beetles

Several chemicals can be used, but they do not penetrate sealed wood. A more extreme—and expensive—measure is to tent the house and use poison gas to eradicate the beetles.

Ask a pest control professional for advice about your specific situation. In some cases, you’ll find that having a few powder post beetles in your home is nothing to be overly concerned about. A pest control professional might tell you to simply watch for further development.

If you want to stay away from chemicals or handle the problem yourself, Organic Daily Post recommends using cedar oil. It is not harmful to insects like bees and butterflies that play an important part in the ecosystem, but it can be a safe and natural repellant for pests, including powder post beetles.

Another method Organic Daily Post recommends is putting the pests through extreme temperature changes. This generally is only effective with smaller items like chairs and tables that can be moved from one environment to another. Place the infected wood in temperatures no warmer than 10 degrees Fahrenheit for three days, then move it back to a warmer room, then repeat the process. Powder post beetles are incapable of surviving the extreme shifts in temperature.

If you’re buying a home, look closely at wood beams and other structural components for beetle exit holes and sawdust. If you find traces of a beetle infestation, have a pest professional inspect the home.

If the infestation appears to be severe, consider having an engineer or general contractor inspect the structural integrity of the home.

Prevention

Rough-cut lumber should be kiln-dried before use, according to pestkilled.com. It speeds up the process of drying green lumber by placing it in a heat- and moisture-controlled kiln that circulates dry air at temperatures ranging from 125 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing this also kills powder post beetles in all of their stages of life. It’s important to note, though, that even kiln-dried lumber stored in an exposed environment can become infested. The lumber can regain moisture if left outside or in a barn, and powder post beetles or other pests also will have easy access.

For projects like tables, chairs, or desks, sanding and varnishing the lumber keeps out powder post beetles by ridding the wood of the tiny crevices necessary for the pests to lay their eggs. Painting the wood can serve as a similar deterrent.

Borate-based pesticides also can prevent infestations, but it’s important to spray the wood before finishing it. Varnishes associated with the finishing process prevent the wood from absorbing the pesticide.

Other ways to prevent a powder post beetle infestation are as follows:

  • If your house sits on a crawl space or has a dirt basement, cover the earth with plastic to reduce moisture. Watch the surface of the plastic for sawdust falling from floor joists above.
  • Inspect the floor or moldings beneath interior wood walls. Little piles of sawdust indicate beetles have been in the wood, but they are not necessarily a sign of active infestation.
  • Schedule yearly inspections with a qualified inspector.

Infestation

Most powder post beetles like wood with a high moisture content, but some beetles prefer to live in dry wood. Adult beetles are dark brown to black and only 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch long. Second only to termites as a threat to wood structures, powder post beetles can be found in any region or climate. The transport of lumber around the country and internationally allows the beetles to find their way to all parts of the globe.

Powder post beetles may infest wood at any stage in the manufacturing process or on a construction site. Unsealed wood can harbor beetle larvae, so adults might not emerge until long after your home has been constructed. It even could take several years, depending on the species and individual conditions. The heat from kiln-drying kills all stages of powder post beetles, and although dried wood is not as attractive to them, the process is not an absolute cure for reinfestation.

Wood Damage

Adult beetles lay eggs in the crevices of untreated wood. When larvae hatch, they start tunneling. Sometimes, you can see the outline of tunnels near the wood’s surface, following the soft areas of the grain, but in many cases, you can’t see any evidence at all that larvae are present.

As the larvae bore, the tunnels behind them become packed with sawdust. They stop near the surface of the wood, where they mature.

Adults break through the surface, leaving tiny round holes where they emerge. Sawdust spills from the hole and can continue to spill out for some time even though an infestation is over.

Both hard woods and soft woods are susceptible to powder post beetles, according to researchers at Michigan State University, because different species of the pest have different preferences. Some species have no preference and will infest either hard wood or soft wood.

www.thespruce.com

How To Get Rid Of June Bugs Beetles and Grubs [GUIDE]

In the late springtime you may notice large numbers of brown and iridescent green beetles around your lawn and garden.

These are June bugs, also known by the common names June beetle or June bug beetle.

The brown variety is usually present in greater numbers, while the green variety (also known as scarab beetles) is a bit less common.

Generally speaking, you see these brown bugs at night swarming around your porch light or streetlights.

Scarab beetles are out during the day.

Although they appear quite different, these two types of beetles are closely related.

Both species of beetles begin their life cycles as grub worm under the lawn or garden soil.

At larval stage, they are called white grubs or white grub worms.

What do June Bugs eat? As white grubs they grow and thrive by feeding on the plant roots.

When they emerge in the spring time (usually during the months of May and June) they move on to do moderate damage to your flowers, veggies, grass, shrubs and trees.

Related Reading

In this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about June bugs and provide some tips to help you cope with them. Read on to learn more:

June Bug Questions & Answers

#1 – Where Do June Bugs Live and Are Most Commonly Found?

You’ll find June bugs all across North America and in many other locations around the globe.

They are most common in very warm areas, and they are quite abundant in the US southern states.

#2 – What Does A June Bug Look Like?

Brown June bugs are about an inch long and they are oblong. They have plain brown, hard wings.

Their bellies are usually yellowish or greenish. Being insects, they have six legs that have rough, hairy protrusions.

Green June beetles are actually rather attractive. They are a deep, iridescent, emerald green in color. Their bellies are golden.

They are smaller than brown June bugs, and they are almost pentagonal in shape.

Their bodies are rather flattish, whereas brown June bugs are more rounded.

#3 – Do June Bugs Bite or Hurt You?

June bugs don’t bite. You will almost never encounter the green ones as they are fewer in number and don’t tend to swarm about.

When you walk through a lighted area at night in a warm climate, you are very likely to encounter dozens, if not hundreds, of brown June bugs.

They may bumble into you, and they may crawl on you and feel strange but they will not bite you or hurt you.

#4 – What Is The June Bug Life Cycle?

June beetles live a very short time. After they emerge from the soil in late May and June, the adult beetles live for only a couple of months.

During this time, the females may lay as many as 75 eggs, and therein lies your problem!

Those 75 eggs hatch into grubs that live in the soil underneath your lawn or garden for almost a year, eating plant roots.

What do June bug do as grubs during the year? They happily munch away on the roots of your plants.

This is especially irksome if you are trying to grow root crops such as potatoes and carrots.

If you have a heavy infestation of June beetle bug grubs, you may even see your turf grass begin to peel up from the soil as the roots are chewed clean through.

June bug larvae predation will also damage other flowers and plants in your yard.

In fact, they may quickly lay waste to your vegetable seedlings when you put them out in the spring time.

If you have an especially heavy infestation of June bug larvae, you may find that the ground underfoot in your yard feels very spongy.

This is because these June beetle grubs tunnel vigorously in search of new food.

#5 – What sort of damage to adult June bugs do?

As adults, June beetles don’t actually do much damage. They do feed on some tree leaves (e.g. oak and walnut).

They may also feed on moss from tree barks leaving unattractive dead spots in their wake.

The main damage they do is simply to reproduce. As noted, a single female June bug can lay as many as 75 eggs a year.

75 multiplied by the number of June bugs currently in your yard is a whole lot of June bugs!

Female June bugs usually lay eggs in the late summer.

The June beetle grubs over-winter in the soil and metamorphose into beetles when the weather warms up in the spring.

#6 – What eats June bugs?

Irritating as they are, June bugs are an abundant source of protein for many wild critters.

This is both a curse and a blessing, depending upon your situation.

Instead of asking – What attracts June bugs? Ask What do June Bug insects attract?

Take note – if you have lots of June bugs and June beetle in your yard, your space will be very attractive to wildlife such as:

Most of this wildlife is beneficial, but some can cause you problems.

For example, gophers, moles, and armadillos can lay waste to your lawn by digging burrows looking for a June beetle snack.

Toads, box turtles, and possums, on the other hand, are beneficial.

While possums can be somewhat problematic if they take up residence in your attic or under your house, toads and box turtles are entirely beneficial.

Having them in your yard and garden is a very good thing, indeed.

It goes without saying – it’s best not to attract skunks to your yard because of their tendency to spray when frightened and because of the very real danger of rabies.

It is worth noting that possums almost never contract rabies.

In fact, you can count the number of documented cases ever on one hand.

This is because possums have a very low body temperature that will not support the rabies virus.

June beetles also attract meat-eating birds such as Blue Jays, mockingbirds, crows, owls and others.

If you have chickens, they will certainly enjoy your June bugs. Common lizards and geckos also feed on June bugs, as do most reptiles.

#7 – Can the June bug insect be dealt with entirely naturally?

If you want to attract wildlife to your yard, you may not consider June bugs to be a problem.

A healthy population of native wildlife in your yard may establish a very good balance and keep your June bug numbers controllable.

It is also possible to reduce the number of grubs in the soil by introducing nematodes.

These very tiny, structurally simple creatures live in the soil and are parasitic to June bug grubs and other insects or pests that are also soil dwellers.

Having healthy population of nematodes in your soil can help keep your June bug grubs under control.

To use nematodes, purchase them online or at your local garden center and follow package directions to introduce them to your soil in the late summer at about the same time female June bugs lay their eggs.

Another natural substance you can introduce to your soil is called milky spore.

This is a bacterium (Bacillus popillate– Dutky) that combats all lawn grubs organically.

It will not only reduce the numbers of June bug grubs in your soil, it also works against Japanese beetle larvae, maggots, flea larvae, cut-worms and more.

#8 – Should you use pesticide to control June bugs?

While it is certainly possible to enlist a pest control company or to spray poison all over your yard yourself, this is the least desirable way of controlling June bugs.

When you poison June bugs and their larvae, you also poison beneficial flora and fauna in your yard.

You endanger your own health with exposure to pesticides, and you run the risk of polluting the water table and waterways with runoff from pesticides.

However a couple of options. Apply Bacillus thuringiensis ( Bt ) to control the June bug grubs in the lawn. And according to pest killed.com.

“To kill recently hatched grubs, choose an insecticide product that contains clothianidin , imidacloprid , thiamethoxam or chlorantraniloprole . These products should be applied any time from late July to early September. Timing matters because these ingredients aren’t as effective if applied later in the fall when the grubs are larger. Apply the insecticides too early, however, and it will wash away before the grubs are even present.” [source]

#9 – Is there a safe way to directly control June bugs?

You can deal with the damage you see and with the individual June bugs you see on a case-by-case basis.

When you see damaged plants and grass in your yard, take positive and specific steps to remove damaged organic matter.

  • Eradicate any June bug infestation you may see
  • Amend the soil and replace the plants

Seek out brown June bugs in your yard in the early morning hours when they are subdued after a night’s activity.

Collect them and dispose of the June beetle them by either dropping them in hot soapy water or, if you have chickens, giving your hens a feast!

You can also reduce the numbers of June bugs in your yard by keeping your grass mowed a little bit higher throughout the hot summer months.

Tall grass discourages adult June bug females from laying eggs. They prefer to lay their eggs in very short grass.

Keeping your grass a little bit taller will help it to retain moisture and reduce the amount that you need to water.

Wet grass is also attractive to June bugs, so by keeping your grass longer you discourage them in multiple ways.

Focus On Controlling June Bugs Rather Than Eliminating Them

No matter how hard you try, you will never eliminate June beetles.

You could poison every existing adult and every grub on your property this year and new ones would just come along and take their place next year.

Rather than opting for elimination, focus on establishing a balance, attracting beneficial wildlife and being vigilant in keeping your June bug numbers under control.

bestgardeninfo.com

How To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

What’s In This Guide

Summertime really can be a pest in of itself, given how so many actual pests breed and thrive in the hot and wet season. And one of the summer’s worst offenders is the Japanese beetle.

Though basically harmless to humans directly (they don’t bite and aren’t poisonous despite having prickly bodies that can feel like a little pinch), Japanese beetles can completely ravage landscapes and crops. This can ultimately lead to unsightly lawns and, far worse, inedible fruits and vegetables.

A gardening blogger named Bonnie Blodgett from Minnesota described her struggle—nay, all-out war—with Japanese beetles:

“I blew it big-time last week,” she said. “Never make the mistake of suggesting that there is a limit to what a Japanese beetle will eat.” She apparently assumed that just because Japanese beetles hadn’t yet eaten her birch trees, that meant those trees (and other trees like them) were resistant to pesky, hungry beetles. The beetles love birch trees, and they’ll eat just about any sort of plant. “Based on your (the readers) descriptions,” she said, “I am now pretty well convinced that if it’s hungry enough a Japanese beetle will even eat me.”

Blodgett went on to describe how humans have played such a big role in the transportation of the beetles to the U.S. in the first place, then out west, where the habitats aren’t exactly conducive to the beetle population. So how did this Japanese beetle get over to the United States, and what the heck is it still doing here?

The Japanese Beetle’s Introduction To The U.S.

Since then, the Japanese beetle has permeated most of the remaining 50 states. The worst infestations are in states bordering the Mississippi River and states east of it, including Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, and North Carolina.

There have also been partial infestations in:

  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota

There have been sightings of Japanese beetles as far west as Portland, Oregon, too, though the climate of many states out west aren’t ideal for the beetles’ survival.

How Do Japanese Beetles Survive?

The beetles are known to wreak havoc on plants, vegetations, and lawns all over the eastern United States, and they do so only being about half an inch long in their adult stages. Once they are adults, they do their damage in a life span that lasts about a month to a month and a half.

Adult female beetles lay eggs often in their short lifespan, laying up 60 eggs in a 45-day period, the entomology department at the University of Kentucky found. The eggs are laid during the afternoon hours a couple inches under the soil in June and July, and they hatch a couple weeks later. This then starts a lengthy period of living underground and feeding on the roots of grass and turf.

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What Do Japanese Beetles Feed On?

Trees

Specific species of trees the beetles like are maple, birch, crabapple, and cherry. The beetles are known to stay away from oak and evergreen trees, another reason outside of climate as to why beetles don’t usually reside in the Pacific Northwest.

Vegetation

Beetles love feeding on crops, which is part of the reason why they’re so devastating in certain areas. The beetles feed on plants that host produce such as blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, and grapes, just to name a few. They also feed on other vegetables and food including corn, carrots, plantains, beans, and asparagus. This is why Japanese beetles can be devastating to farmers.

Flowers

Japanese beetles are also attracted to plants like roses, poison ivy, morning glories, and lilacs because of their sweet, attractive smell. This affects our lawn and garden appearance in addition to affecting the surrounding environment.

Many of these plants are affected while the beetles are living above ground in their adult stage. While below the surface, mobility is limited, so the beetles feed on the roots of grass and turf near where the females lay the eggs.

Natural Predators of Japanese Beetles

There are plenty of animals and other insects around that help keep the beetle population at bay the best they can. Some of the beetle predators include:

  • Birds, such as cardinals, grackles, and starlings
  • Fowls, such as chickens, duck, and geese
  • Spiders
  • Racoons
  • Moles
  • Toads

The issue for many of these predators, though, is the predators can sometimes do more damage to grass and plants than the beetles and the grubs themselves. That’s because they have to dig and scratch around to find them! The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland said you should “keep working towards conserving natural enemies to help their populations ‘catch up’ to and suppress Japanese beetle densities.” So while you work to keep predator populations high, your best bet is to try and eliminate Japanese beetles from your yard yourself or with professional services.

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How To Get Rid Of Them

Milky Spore

One of the most effective methods was developed way back in the 1930s and distributed to states over the next couple decades. Japanese beetles are susceptive to a disease called milky spore, so researchers decided it’d just be easiest to give the diseases to the beetles—especially in their grub stage before the fully develop into flying adults.

Known in the scientific world as Paenibacillus popilliae, milky spore can be purchased at any basic home improvement store. It’s advised you apply the spore—a white, powdery substance—to your lawn once per year, either in the spring or the fall, for three years. The disease will spread throughout the beetle population and help provide a long-term solution. It’s also suggested you apply the spore along with a nematode, which will help spread the disease quicker into the beetles.

Chemicals/Oils/Mixtures

Other solutions to help kill off beetles include chemicals and oils such as the following:

  • Neem oil: This oil comes from trees and is non-toxic. You can spray it on roses and other plants that beetles enjoy eating. When male beetles ingest the oil, they’ll pass it along to the eggs. The hatched larvae will then eventually die before it becomes an adult thanks to the oil. Because of the importance of passing it onto the eggs, you should spray the oil just before the beetles enter their adult stage. That way, when the beetles do come above ground, they’ll consume the oil before mating.
  • Insecticides: Insecticides that are specific for Japanese beetles help by attacking the nervous system of the pest. Certain chemicals may or may not be approved in your area, so research what types of sprays are the most effective near you. These sprays should be applied in the morning before the sun fully rises and the beetles are active again.
  • Water-soap solution: This solution is harmless to the environment and can help suffocate beetles if applied correctly. Mix a quart of water with a teaspoon of dish soap. Then, put the solution into a spray bottle and apply it to any plants affected by the beetles. There are other viable additions to the solution like oils and rubbing alcohol, depending on the plants you have in your area.

Some of these applications may be harmful to other species in your environment, so it’s important to do the proper research for how these chemicals and oils could affect the plants and animals around you. For example, Neem oil is harmful to fish, so don’t apply the oil near ponds or areas where a storm could create runoff to a source of water.

www.pests.org

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