how to treat wood dolls with powderpost beetles

I restore old dolls and recently started working on a project were the the legs and arms are turned wood; probably pine. Unfortuneatly there is evidence of powderpost beetles have been present. What is the life cycle; can freezing the items kill off what may still be there? I am not sure that using products that you recommend will not harm the finish on the old doll parts so am concerned with how to handle.

Please help!

If you read our article on POWDERPOST BEETLE CONTROL, you’ll learn that freezing and heat treatments won’t kill eggs so it’s not an effective way to control active infestations of powderpost beetles. The only options you have would be to fumigate, inject the wood with JECTA GEL, dip the wood in BORACARE or do your own “fumigation” using some INSECT STRIPS. Here’s a breakdown on what to expect regarding these treatment these options.

  1. Fumigation via a pest service would be very costly (thousands of dollars) so I’m guessing this is not a viable option.
  2. Jecta Gel injected to any exit holes or other “port” in exposed wood could do the job if you have enough holes to put the gel into.
  3. Boracare “dip” would be the best way to go. No doubt the pieces would absorb enough product making them unlivable for the larvae.
  4. Lastly, making your own “fumigation” tent is an option. To do this you’d place an insect strip in a thick plastic bag and seal it nice a tight. The air inside would be unusable by any insect and they’d die once hatched from their egg stage. The only limit to this treatment is that it would take months to complete because without knowing the species of beetle active, there is no telling how long it takes for eggs to gestate and hatch. To be safe, you’d need to wait at least 6 months. Most species hatch in 3 months or less but there are some that go for 3-9 months and some a year or longer (though these species are rare).

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

Powderpost Beetle Article:

Jecta Gel:


Insect Strips:

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