antique buffet eaten by beetles

I just bought an antique buffet in an antique mall.  It is by far one of the favorite pieces I have collected.  I bought it in May-ish, and it was in the owner’s (of the mall) garage all summer. I do not remember any holes when I bought it and I looked it over pretty well. They delivered it abt 3 wks ago to my garage- I did not look at it, and it was moved to Arkansas a wk ago. It is eaten up!  Orkin says there is nothing they can do. HELP!!  I need to know the gestation period of the beetle.  And I want my buffet bug free!

If you read through our POWDERPOST BEETLE CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn this beetle will lay eggs which hatch small larvae that eat wood as they grow. The larvae can feed for long periods of time depending on many variables. Once they mature and enter the pupal stage of development, they can lay dormant indefinitely and will sometimes not emerge for many years. When they emerge they drill out of the wood creating exit holes which are one of the first signs commonly seen on infested wood. From your message above it sounds as though that’s what you’re seeing on this buffet table. As for a “gestation period”; I’m guessing you mean time from egg to adult? Well, that can range from a month or two right on up to 5-10 years depending on the species of beetle. As our article explains, there are over 100,000 species of this beetle worldwide and they all have a wide time range to develop depending on many factors which can both hinder or speed up the process.

You also mention you’ve asked a service company to treat but “there is nothing they can do”? That doesn’t make any sense. I know for a fact that Orkin treats for Powderpost Beetles and they even offer fumigation services so it sounds like there has been some kind of misunderstanding on your part. At this time I suggest you give them another call or try some other local companies if you wish to get the piece treated by a professional. Be forewarned it can get quite expensive to have this done and in the end I’m sure you’ll find getting some BORACARE and treating the problem yourself will be a lot less costly. And based on what you said about it being “eaten up”, it sounds like you might be doing some cosmetic work to cover up all the exit holes you’re finding. If that’s true, the finish will probably need to be removed and reapplied and if you plan on doing this, it would be a great time to apply the Boracare since it can only work on raw or unfinished wood.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Powderpost Beetle Control Article:


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