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Karina G

Termites or other chewing varmint?

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Imagine my dismay this morning when I spotted a little pile of sawdust under my much-prized, more or less new rattan chair! Is there a product I can use - something to brush on maybe, or how can I protect my furniture? Sofa is also rattan so also a potential target, not to mention various wood items throughout the house. Very disturbing, since it's not rental furniture but all my own! 

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I have had success with a boric acid solution sprayed on the wood. May take more that one application. Wet the wood and look for entry/exit holes.  Not harmful to pets. Have heard of people using moistened cardboard traps to attract the termites, and then disposing of the traps, but have never resorted to that.

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The Prisa/Truper store in Ajijic sells a clear product that you paint on the wood. It worked on my equipale furniture.

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More than likely Cedrico is referring to a product called Penta-dragon available at the source he cited.  Poisonous, be careful, brush on liberally then if possible rap in a plastic trash bag and seal for 24 to 48 hours.  Air out for a day or two then resume use.  Penta has a very strong odor so be prepared.  Worked on antique Bali, Chinese wood carvings and as mentioned equipale furniture.  Cheers.

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You are referring to pentachlorophenol (sp?). Highly toxic, can't be sold without an exterminator's license in Canada. Linked to pancreatic cancer, among other nasties. protective gear required if you value your health. You couldn't pay me to use that stuff. There are much less toxic alternatives. 

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2 hours ago, josearturozaah said:

More than likely Cedrico is referring to a product called Penta-dragon available at the source he cited.  Poisonous, be careful, brush on liberally then if possible rap in a plastic trash bag and seal for 24 to 48 hours.  Air out for a day or two then resume use.  Penta has a very strong odor so be prepared.  Worked on antique Bali, Chinese wood carvings and as mentioned equipale furniture.  Cheers.

Yes, it is strong so someone else did it for me even though I have a pesticde applicators license. It worked well-no more piles of sawdust. We did a neighbours also.  Tell Prisa what you want it for and they should know what it is right away. Sorry, I don't remember the name. We didn't wrap it in a plastic but did it outside where the furniture was used. 

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Ok I need to explore some alternatives. Been isolating over 2 months now and I'd hate to succumb to something stupid like a termite proofing product at this point. That one sounds a bit scary and I have pets to consider. I've also been trying to avoid introducing any kind of toxins into my home and changing many of the products I use. I've put a couple of photos here, but I'm not sure they're useful...?

DSCN1854.JPG

DSCN1857.JPG

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Try the boric acid solution someone suggested in this thread. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. But it probably will, at least for awhile. The Mexican standby is used diesel-  smells awful for quite awhile, needs to be left outside where you aren't breathing it, but it does work and smell does eventually disippate. After living in Mexico for years, you learn to buy furniture or have it made, with woods that the bugs don't like.

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posthole beetle larva. I find the hole and inject uncut poison directly into them with one of those gigantic horse needles. Keeps it away from your animals and goes directly to the culprits.

post hole beetles size.jpg

powderpost beetles.jpg

post syringe.jpg

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Okay, so for those who are familiar with such things, I have something eating my table- I can see them sometimes- they are little white maggoty looking things, but what comes out of the furniture isn't like sawdust- it looks like finely ground coffee- more like tiny grains than dust.  Ideas?

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Here in northern California, at each of two houses, there are recurring but manageable termite situations, one in the redwoods involving flying swarming termites and another burrowing variety in wine country, where the species builds earthen 'tubes' across hard surfaces to bridge between softer tunneling media such as soil or wood.  The woodland/airborne variety produce a distinctive, sharply faceted dropping that requires something like a jewelers' loop to see clearly, and twenty years ago I had the place tent fumigated, and AFAIK, they never returned, though they might be throughout the structure and only manifest through their distinctive droppings (at first), that and detached wings which are all over the property exteriors seasonally. 

There are something like 2000 species of termites, and a bit of research online concerning local conditions is probably prudent, and even interesting when you get to admire gem-cut drywood termite droppings.

 

'

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I would trust Happyjillin's advice. He's dealt with antique furniture for decades.

SunFan

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4 hours ago, utilitus said:

Here in northern California, at each of two houses, there are recurring but manageable termite situations, one in the redwoods involving flying swarming termites and another burrowing variety in wine country, where the species builds earthen 'tubes' across hard surfaces to bridge between softer tunneling media such as soil or wood.  The woodland/airborne variety produce a distinctive, sharply faceted dropping that requires something like a jewelers' loop to see clearly, and twenty years ago I had the place tent fumigated, and AFAIK, they never returned, though they might be throughout the structure and only manifest through their distinctive droppings (at first), that and detached wings which are all over the property exteriors seasonally. 

There are something like 2000 species of termites, and a bit of research online concerning local conditions is probably prudent, and even interesting when you get to admire gem-cut drywood termite droppings.

 

'

I wouldn't waste my time trying to research termites here-you won't find much. Just go to the Prisa store in Downtown Ajjic (you may even want to take some of the critters and some dust). They know what will solve your problem as they have been dealing for years with it here.. It may be quite different here than in Norther California.

  

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6 hours ago, mudgirl said:

Okay, so for those who are familiar with such things, I have something eating my table- I can see them sometimes- they are little white maggoty looking things, but what comes out of the furniture isn't like sawdust- it looks like finely ground coffee- more like tiny grains than dust.  Ideas?

The people most familar with such things are Mexicans who deal with wood. Where do you live? There should be a good hardware or wood store in your area that is familiar with the problem and the solution. Take some of the maggots and dust with you.

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8 hours ago, happyjillin said:

posthole beetle larva. I find the hole and inject uncut poison directly into them with one of those gigantic horse needles. Keeps it away from your animals and goes directly to the culprits.

post hole beetles size.jpg

powderpost beetles.jpg

post syringe.jpg

 

8 hours ago, happyjillin said:

posthole beetle larva. I find the hole and inject uncut poison directly into them with one of those gigantic horse needles. Keeps it away from your animals and goes directly to the culprits.

post hole beetles size.jpg

powderpost beetles.jpg

post syringe.jpg

There is a much easier way, paint it with an insecticide.

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The OP doesn't have termites,they're post hole beetles as i pictured.Termites and carpenter ants show totally different droppings Sunfan is correct that I have 55+ years experience with antiques.All the Mexicans I have talked with, including some exterminators call everything that eats/destroys wood termitos. Don't waste your time talking to hardware,paint stores and wood sellers. I have used exterminators to deal with anything like this. Posthole beetles,carpenter ants and termites. You can start by having one of these pros tent your furniture with chemicals at their shop for at least 2 weeks. I've had that done twice and pretty much only the adults got whacked and the larva problem was still there because they are down deep so when I used my injection method in the holes that finished the job nicely.

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7 hours ago, mudgirl said:

Okay, so for those who are familiar with such things, I have something eating my table- I can see them sometimes- they are little white maggoty looking things, but what comes out of the furniture isn't like sawdust- it looks like finely ground coffee- more like tiny grains than dust.  Ideas?

You have termites and you are thinking they are maggots because the workers have clear bodies. The foto shows workers and a queen.

termite-queen-with-workers-desk2.jpg

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19 minutes ago, happyjillin said:

The OP doesn't have termites,they're post hole beetles as i pictured.Termites and carpenter ants show totally different droppings Sunfan is correct that I have 55+ years experience with antiques.All the Mexicans I have talked with, including some exterminators call everything that eats/destroys wood termitos. Don't waste your time talking to hardware,paint stores and wood sellers. I have used exterminators to deal with anything like this. Posthole beetles,carpenter ants and termites. You can start by having one of these pros tent your furniture with chemicals at their shop for at least 2 weeks. I've had that done twice and pretty much only the adults got whacked and the larva problem was still there because they are down deep so when I used my injection method in the holes that finished the job nicely.

The "paint" you buy at Prisa will work on whatever insects you are having a problem with. There is no need to tent your furniture for weeks somewhere. The "paint" worked for years. It was furniture that was on my covered mirador so no need to tent or worry about the fumes. I have worked with antique furniture for years also. I had 2 dogs dogs and there was no problem. You are making it more complicated that it needs to be.

When I had a house by the ocean I we tried painting the wood with used diesel but it was too stinky. 

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The are actually called powder post beetles.  I told my husband about this post, showed him the picture and after 40+ years of being in the furniture business he knew exactly what it is.  Remove the chair from the area as the beetles will infest your sofa and if they are not already in the wood.  

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7 minutes ago, cricket said:

The are actually called powder post beetles.  I told my husband about this post, showed him the picture and after 40+ years of being in the furniture business he knew exactly what it is.  Remove the chair from the area as the beetles will infest your sofa and if they are not already in the wood.  

They are known by the name I used as well [posthole beetles] and I  have shown fotos of them and given extensive advice on here as to how to deal with them. moving things around solves nothing. When the beetles[they have wings] emerge they merely fly around until they find a place to lay some eggs and there goes that piece of furniture

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I don't always agree with hj but he is absolutely correct. Cedros wants to be the expert, however hj is giving the best PROFESSIONAL advice and should be listened to in this instance.

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34 minutes ago, cedros said:

The "paint" you buy at Prisa will work on whatever insects you are having a problem with. There is no need to tent your furniture for weeks somewhere. The "paint" worked for years. It was furniture that was on my covered mirador so no need to tent or worry about the fumes. I have worked with antique furniture for years also. I had 2 dogs dogs and there was no problem. You are making it more complicated that it needs to be.

When I had a house by the ocean I we tried painting the wood with used diesel but it was too stinky. 

You are advocating  a precondition tactic in an attempt to avoid infestation. The OP has clearly shown that their furniture is already infested so yes they need to have it dealt with by a pro who won't do the tenting fumigating on their premises to save their furniture.

 

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