I recently notice small holes and some deterioration of a piece of wood in between rooms of our house. Our house was built in late 1900’s. I had to companies come in to advise me and give a quote. The first one said they can treat the beetle from the basement and will spray the bottom of the floor and will guarantee it for 18 months for $550.00. The 2nd said there isn’t much we can do about it since the wood is stained on the top of the floor and anything they would do would not penetrate and they didn’t feel application from the basement would penetrate enough and be worth it. I then Googled and came up with your site. I guess my question is how do I know if I still have them? I know you show products, but if I already have an insecticide which is a systemic then can’t I spray with that, like I did my living trees outside?
If you read the wood floor section of our POWDER POST BEETLE CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn there are a couple of options available to get control of a local infestation. To answer your last question first: no, a systemic like you’ve used on trees will not work on wood flooring. The main reason is that a systemic is carried through a tree or plant via the sap of the vegetation. The BORACARE or JECTA GEL listed in our article penetrates because it has special solvents in the mix which enable it to perform this way.
Regarding your question about whether or not you still have them; there really isn’t any sure fire way to know. In fact I’ve seen cases where they’re coming out in the open and their sawdust is clearly evident. This is an easy one to figure out. But many times they release or exit in areas you cannot see and can do this for years without detection. And then there are the cases where activity dries up and all the living beetles die but years later damaged wood is detected or found. In this scenario most people wonder if it’s new or active and again, that can be a tough bit of information to ascertain so the accepted way to deal with it is to assume it’s active unless you’ve treated the problem before in the past.
In summary, if the flooring hasn’t been treated before, I suggest you either hire the first company who quoted you or get some Boracare/Jecta Gel and do the work yourself.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Powder Post Beetle Control Article: http://www.powderpostbeetles.com/powderpost-beetle-control#wood_floor_beetle_treatment