Question Hi there! We have recently discovered an infestation of powderpost beetles in the hardwood flooring installed in our whole house. We have been told that the manufacturer is not responsible because the wood is kiln dried and that the infestation must have occurred after the wood was installed. These beetles are not native to where we live - we have no other new wood in our home etc. Is there any information that you can provide to us that would be helpful in understanding where they may have come from? Also, is it true that these pests only burrow up through the wood and not down into the wood? Thank you in advance!
I've heard this excuse from manufacturers many times and it is completely false. Wood can become infested after it is kiln dried because drying alone does not impart any residual protection against infestation. This most often occurs if the wood is not stored properly. See http://www.livingwithbugs.com/powderpost_beetles.html for background information about these beetles. The next excuse the manufacturer may offer is that they have "never heard of this happening before", which is also very probably false. Powderpost beetle damage in flooring is actually fairly common. There is no good treatment but the good news is that these infestations often burn themselves out and be confined to just a few boards that may need to be replaced. Post a follow up if you have questions.
I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.
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