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We have a small property in West Marin that has been
recently looked at by a termite company. There are powder
post beetles in various places - decks, floor, carport beam,
garage wall, basement, etc. Just a fact of
life in Inverness. The termite person recommended tenting
the structures, while a person who has done a lot of work on
the property (and in the area) recommends treating with
copper sulfate (sprayed) and keeping track of the
infestations so that when the wood becomes too damaged (i.e.
soft), it can be replaced. He says that tenting is bad news
for neighbors and other living things, and it's just a one
shot deal - beetles will come back. In my mind it sounds
like continued spraying and monitoring is right, but what
about tenting too? We don't have a tenting estimate yet,
but I think it will be expensive. Thanks for any advice on
this - I'm pretty confused about what to do, and don't want
to spend the money on tenting if it is really not necessary.
I also wonder how hazardous it is to do the spraying, and if
we should attempt it.
For any insect problem, I recommend this book: Common-Sense
Pest Control: Least-Toxic solutions for your home, garden,
pets and community by William Olkowski. It is available at
the Berkeley Public Library. There is thorough coverage in
a chapter on wood-boring beetles. Heat or electricity can
be used to kill beetles in wood. Wood can be treated with a
less-toxic chemical like borate. There is a list of
possible treatments, their effectiveness and their toxicity
in the book.
I had what I thought to be a significant infestation of
powder post beetles in my home in Berkeley. I contacted
Live Oak Structural, a company that uses the least toxic
products possible. They sprayed my garage and workshop
area with a borax based treatment. I was pleased with
their work and have not seen any evidence of beetle action
in the past year. Good Luck!
Help! My house has been overrun by a tiny black beetle (1/8 inch
long)that has two yellow dots on it. It seems to congregate
around my sinks, though it's all over the house now. Some have
wings, most don't. The descriptions of carpet beetles I've read
sound right, but the pictures don't match. I have a 2 month old,
so I don't want to fumigate my house and want a non- toxic
solution targeted to this bug. Anyone had something similar, or
know a way to identify it? Thanks.
Here is a web page about pests at UC Davis:
To find out what you have, click on the carpet beetles, pantry
pests, and wood boring beetles. I also like to recommend the
book ''Common-Sense Pest Control'' by Willaim Olkowski. It is in
the Berkeley Library. It is difficult to figure out how to
control them unless you know what they are eating.
We are looking for tips on how to get rid of what we believe are
red flour beetles in our kitchen cabinets. We have tried
the ''throw everything out'' and wash out the cabinets with non-
toxic sprays, but eventually they seem to come back (I am sure
it is because they were never really gone). I also understand
they frequently come home with you from the supermarket so I
don't expect any solution to be forever, but any suggestions on
a non-toxic or the least toxic approach to getting rid of the
little stinkers would be much appreciated. Thanks
We used to have problems with flour beetles and moths. For
several years, we've put
bulk goods (flour, rice, oatmeal, etc.) from the grocery store
into glass canning jars. This has fixed the problem, without
pesticides. You can get large jars at hardware stores, they
are very tough, and they look a lot nicer on the shelf than
plastic bags or plastic storage containers. Once in awhile it's
apparent that a single jar's contents have bugs -- yes, from the
grocery store -- but it never spreads past the one jar.
Hi there. Re the Red Flour Beetles question, I would recommend calling for advice
BIRC: 510 524-2567 (I think that this is still the number for this nonprofit which specializes
in giving advice for nontoxic remedies to insect problems.) Good luck with this!
In the past two weeks we've noticed little beetle-type bugs on our
At first I thought they were fruit flies, but they don't seem to
Anyone know what they are?
How can I find out what they are?
You might have flour beetles- rather common, can be in grains or
something you haven't opened in a while. This link has big
photos, and some directions on getting rid of them (sort of like
the recent moth question).
this page was last updated: Apr 17, 2012
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