I live on a 65′ old boat in San Francisco. We lately found out that we have powerpost beeltes. They were in the ceiling. We had a pest control agent come inspect, and he said we should fumigate, for a cost of $5,000. This seems too high, so I was hoping to do this myself. I understand that I can’t fumigate myself, without being licensed, but I figure there must be other options. I have access to ALL areas where there is wood. What would you recommend doing? The boat is 6″ plywood exterior with a fiberglass finish and wooden beams inside.
If you read through our POWDERPOST BEETLE CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn there are several options available for treating this problem. No doubt fumigation is one. However, it’s both costly and not a permanent solution. In other words, the treatment does not leave a residual so in the end, your boat will be vulnerable to the same attack and damage. In the long run, taking some time to treat it with a product like BORACARE would make sense.
Boracare is mentioned for use throughout our article. It’s unique in that it will penetrate wood through the grain when applied to unfinished sides. I suggest you make the infested wood unfinished by removing any paint or other cosmetic surface that may have been applied. Next, apply 1-2 coats of the Boracare solution and once it cures for a few days, you should be set to go. You can then leave the wood unfinished or you can paint/stain it again as desired. Once treated, it will be safe from wood destroying insects and mold.
I would also try to treat as much of the wood as possible. In other words, I’d try to treat as much of the “same” wood as I could find that’s readily accessible on the boat. Since these beetles tend to focus their attention on a particular type wood, treating all the same wood on board would insure you didn’t miss any activity that might be hidden from the eye right now.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Powderpost Beetle Control: http://www.powderpostbeetles.com/powderpost-beetle-control